DANBURY, Conn. — A member of the Danbury City Council will become the acting commissioner of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, following the departure of the current leader.
DVA Commissioner Sean Connolly will depart the agency effective Wednesday, Oct. 4, to pursue other professional opportunities, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Friday.
And the new acting commissioner will be Thomas Saadi, chief of staff and General Counsel of the DVA until a permanent successor is named, Malloy said.
Saadi, a Democrat, currently represents the 4th Ward on the Danbury City Council.
He is also a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Saadi has served on many Council Committees addressing issues ranging from public safety, and neighborhood blight to Veteran and Senior tax relief and education.
He is active with many civic, social and veterans organizations in the Greater Danbury area and serves on the advisory boards for Immaculate High School and the Portuguese Cultural Center.
Saadi is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and Quinnipiac College School of Law. He and his wife, Valerie Ventura-Saadi, have twin children.
On Friday, Malloy thanked Connolly for his service to the state and to veterans.
“It is incumbent upon our government to honor the bravery and sacrifices that our veterans have made, and ensure that they receive the care, compassion and services they require,” Malloy said. “As Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Sean Connolly has stuck true to this mission, with a tenure marked by significant achievements and improvements in serving our state’s veterans.”
“Serving as Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Connolly said. “I am honored to have been given the opportunity by Governor Malloy to serve our state’s veterans and couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated staff and the work that we’ve accomplished together.”
Connolly was appointed in March 2015. An East Hartford native, he served the country in more than seven years on active duty. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was a Prosecutor and Brigade Legal Advisor with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., as well as in Kuwait and Iraq.
His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal. He continues to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
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