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Former Conn. Public Health Commissioner Accuses Lamont Of Discrimination

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COURTESY OF CONN. DPH
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The former head of the Connecticut Department of Public Health has accused Governor Ned Lamont of firing her in May for discriminatory reasons.

Renée Coleman-Mitchell is Black. Her lawyer, Eric Brown, said she wants to “set the record straight” about why she was let go “without a plausible reason”.

“Essentially [she] was replaced by Josh Geballe, the governor’s Chief Operating Officer, who took over the day-to-day handling and operations of the state’s COVID response. She was shoved to the side," Brown said. "The reason why we think that’s discriminatory is because Josh Geballe is a young white man with no public health experience. He’s a politician.”

In a statement, Coleman-Mitchell was appalled Lamont replaced her 30 years of public health expertise with Josh Geballe, a former IBM executive.

Her statement comes ahead of a commissioned report to review the state’s pandemic response expected later this month. Coleman-Mitchell says she was never interviewed.

Lamont and his health department declined to comment.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.