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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Springer to Replace Miller as Shumlin Chief of Staff

Posted By and on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 11:42 AM

click to enlarge Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson, Shumlin chief of staff Liz Miller and Department of Public Service deputy commissioner Darren Springer at a press conference Thursday at the Statehouse - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • Secretary of Administration Justin Johnson, Shumlin chief of staff Liz Miller and Department of Public Service deputy commissioner Darren Springer at a press conference Thursday at the Statehouse
Updated at 3:02 p.m.

When Liz Miller joined Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration in January 2011, she promised to serve two years as his commissioner of public service.

Two years later, she promised another two as his chief of staff.

On Thursday, Shumlin announced that Miller will leave his administration when the legislature adjourns this May. She will be replaced by Darren Springer, who has served as deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Service since March 2013.

Miller said Thursday she has not yet lined up a new job and will wait for her departure to find one. The Burlington attorney previously worked in private practice.

“I enjoyed lawyering,” she said. “I may do that in the future, but I really, truly have not figured out the next step yet.”

Springer, 35, is a Florida native and Vermont Law School graduate. He spent four years working for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as an energy adviser and then as chief counsel.

“I’m excited about it,” Springer said of his new job. “The opportunity to work on a broader set of issues, to work with the whole team and play a leadership role is exciting to me.”

click to enlarge Liz Miller - FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Liz Miller
As Seven Days reported last week, Miller's looming departure has been rumored for weeks.

In February, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) recommended her husband, Eric Miller, to become Vermont's next U.S. attorney. That will require the nomination of the president and confirmation by the Senate.

Liz Miller said Thursday that the two moves are coincidental. But she said the timing was good for her to leave a grueling job as he prepares to begin one.

“It would be difficult on the bill-paying and the dog, if nothing else,” she said.

In a written statement, Shumlin called Miller “an amazing chief of staff.”

“While I wish I could keep her around longer, I’m thankful for her dedicated service to me and to Vermont over these past years,” he said.

Shumlin highlighted Springer’s “proven record of getting tough things done” and called him “the right person to help us move forward and address the challenges facing our great state.”

Asked during an unrelated press conference Thursday whether Miller’s and other recent departures said anything about Shumlin’s electoral future, the governor said, “Not at all.”

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About The Authors

Terri Hallenbeck

Terri Hallenbeck

Bio:
Terri Hallenbeck is a Seven Days staff writer covering politics, the Legislature and state issues.
Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz is Seven Days' political editor. He writes the weekly column, "Fair Game."

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