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James Wrynn to head state Insurance Dept.

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A former Democratic district leader from Douglaston who was also a founding partner at law firm in that community was picked by Gov. David Paterson last week to serve as the state Insurance Department’s new superintendent.

James Wrynn, a former district leader in state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s (D-Bayside) district, was appointed Friday by the governor to head the department, which regulates state insurance businesses by eliminating fraud, ensuring that insurers fulfill obligations in a timely manner, and protecting policyholders from insolvent insurers.

“As an experienced insurance lawyer with expansive involvement in government, I am confident that he will serve both the department and state well,” the governor said of Wrynn.

Wrynn co-founded MacKay, Wrynn & Brady, at 40-26 235th St. in Douglaston, nine years ago. Dennis Brady, one of the co-founders, said he thought Wrynn was a great choice to lead the state’s insurance department.

“I think he’s a phenomenal choice because he mixes integrity and knowledge of insurance matters,” Brady said. “I think he’ll bring a practical sense to the administrative process.”

Wrynn could not be reached for comment.

His salary as superintendent will be $127,000, Paterson said.

Wrynn, who lives in Douglaston and has served on Queens Village’s Community Board 13, will take over the department Thursday pending confirmation by the state Senate. He will replace Kermitt Brooks, who has been acting superintendent following the departure of the department’s previous leader, Eric Dinallo, in June.

From 1982-92, Wrynn worked as a trial attorney with Manhattan-based firm McCormick, Dunne & Foley, specializing in civil trials and appellate practice related to professional malpractice, subrogation and property as well as casualty coverage disputes, liabilities and insurance.

Shortly thereafter, he co-founded MacKay, Wrynn & Brady, where he took on cases involving insurance issues and claims on behalf of major companies, policyholders, municipalities and public figures.

In May, Wrynn was appointed as executive director of the New York State Insurance Fund Board of Commissioners.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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