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Hon. William J. Sullivan Assumes Duties as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court

HARTFORD - The Honorable William J. Sullivan of Waterbury took his oath of office Monday morning, January 22nd and immediately assumed his duties as the 36th Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Chief Justice Sullivan succeeds former Chief Justice Francis M. McDonald, Jr., who reached the retirement age of 70 Monday but will still hear cases as a Judge Trial Referee.

Governor John G. Rowland announced Chief Justice Sullivan's nomination in December and it was approved by the Judiciary Committee and then by the State House of Representatives and Senate on January 17, 2001. Chief Justice Sullivan served 19 years as a Superior Court Judge and was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1997. He was named to the Supreme Court in 1999.

Upon announcing the nomination, Governor Rowland said, "Justice Sullivan is a skilled jurist who has done an outstanding job on the Superior, Appellate and Supreme Courts. His experience on all three levels of the judicial system will make him an excellent Chief Justice."

"I deeply appreciate the confidence Governor Rowland has shown in me by this appointment," said Chief Justice Sullivan. "I will do my utmost to justify that confidence."

Chief Justice Sullivan is a Waterbury native who received his B.A. from Providence College in 1962 and his Juris Doctor from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary, in 1965.

He then served as a Captain in the United States Army from 1965-66 where her served a tour in Vietnam.He was awarded two Bronze Stars for merit, the Air Medal and various campaign ribbons. After receiving his honorable discharge from the Army, Chief Justice Sullivan practiced law with Attorney Robert E. Mellon.

In addition to practicing law, Chief Justice Sullivan served as the Director of the Connecticut Vietnam Veterans Bonus Division from 1967-70. He also served as Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Waterbury from March 1974 to July 1975 and as Corporation Counsel for the City of Waterbury from January 1975 to September 1978.

The Hon. Peter T. Zarella of West Hartford also took the oath of office to become an Associate Supreme Court Justice, replacing Chief Justice Sullivan on the seven-member court. Justice Zarella previously served on the Appellate Court.

For information please contact Ginny Apple, Manager of Communications, 860-757-2270.


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