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Connecticut DMV Commissioner Resigns Amid Computer Problems

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. has stepped down from his job following various problems with a major computer system upgrade.

Ayala gave no specific reason for his resignation in a letter dated Tuesday to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff. Ayala's resignation was made public on Wednesday. Malloy said Ayala made a "personal decision" to leave now.

"Although the past year has been challenging, I worked diligently to bring about the necessary changes to the Department of Motor Vehicles," Ayala wrote to Brian Durand.

Ayala noted in his letter that he had worked hard to modernize the DMV's computer system, which he said was the largest change for the agency in more than 40 years.

"Change can be difficult but I was persistent and handled the complexities of rolling out such an important system," he said.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said Ayala responded to her office regarding complaints it had received about DMV erroneously suspending vehicle registrations, but the problems still remain.

"The chronic foul ups that have plagued the Department of Motor Vehicles and created great hardship and angst for motorists continue to this day," she said, calling for legislative hearings on DMV's performance.

Ayala recently announced that the agency would temporarily stop forwarding to police the lists of motorists whose vehicle registrations have been suspended due to lack of insurance. Ayala said some registrations were wrongly suspended due to the computer upgrade.

The computer overhaul, unveiled in August, has also led to lengthy wait times at DMV branches.

Malloy, who appointed the former Bridgeport state senator and social studies teacher in December 2014, said he had a great working relationship with Ayala and praised his performance.

"It's been a tough year for him and I think he has done a good job, as good as he could do, and I think it was an opportune time for him to leave at this point," Malloy said.