Governor Deval Patrick's office has announced that chief of staff Mo Cowan is leaving, to be replaced by current director of communications Brendan Ryan.
Expect this to be the first* of several senior-staff changes, as the guv puts together his team for the final two-year stretch. The whispered word is that he's asked for commitments through the end of his term from senior staff who want to stay on. (*Second, if you think that John Auerbach left DPH as part of this process, not because of the crime lab fiasco.)
Biggest question is JudyAnn Bigby, who has headed the mammoth Health and Human Services bureaucracy from day one, and who has to be exhausted at the idea of two more years with the number of issues on her plate. But, does she want to leave with the crime lab and meningitis investigations pending?
As for today's news, Brendan Ryan seems like a good person for that slot -- he seems so good, frankly, that I find it hard to believe he's only 31. And Cowan leaving is no surprise; nobody should have to do that job for more than two years, especially somebody who has family he'd like to occasionally see. Plus, I don't know this for a fact, but I strongly suspect he was taking quite a large pay cut from being partner at Mintz Levin.