At a packed gathering last night, new CHRO Executive Director Robert Brothers, Jr. did his best to defend the agency over the past mistakes while urging that he not be judged on that past history.

He acknowledged in a meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section that there "have been a lot of things done wrong in the past." It’s a refreshing statement from the head of an agency that has long been criticized for being blind to its shortcomings.  He was adamant that a new change was coming. "Don’t judge me by what I haven’t done yet."

But the road to rebuilding the agency will not come easy, he said.  His staff levels are down nearly 25 percent over the last two years with several positions, such as Chief of Field Operations, remaining unfilled after retirements. 

Nevertheless, he urged the attorneys present to contact him directly if they have a complaint with the process or related issues.

Of course, the question of how to fix the agency is a complicated one. Brothers said that he was seriously considering electronic filing of cases, which would help reduce printing and postage costs.  It would also provide a better solution to the storage of cases (which, in most instances, need to be maintained for 10 years).

Another area that he sees as ripe for improvement is training of employees and uniformity of decisions across the various state offices.

Judging by the vocal complaints raised in the audience, he and the agency have a lot of work ahead of them.