Lawyer Bernard Coffey new top bureaucrat in N.L. government

St. John's lawyer Bernard Coffey was appointed Clerk of the Executive Council, the government's top bureaucratic position, on Wednesday.

Coffey was a vocal opponent of Muskrat Falls, once ran for Liberal leadership

Bernard Coffey has been appointed clerk of the Executive Council in the N.L. government.

St. John's lawyer Bernard Coffey has been appointed Clerk of the Executive Council – the top bureaucratic position in the Newfoundland and Labrador government – according to a press release issued by the Premier's office on Wednesday.  

Coffey was a Liberal member of the 2015 electoral boundaries commission and was co-counsel for the commissioner in the Cameron Inquiry.

He was a vocal opponent of Muskrat Falls as a member of Group 2041, and lost his bid for leadership of the provincial Liberal party in 2011 when then-leader Yvonne Jones resigned. 

Coffey has been in private practice in St. John's since leaving public service in 2000.

"This is a time for renewal in the public service as we explore opportunities to more efficiently deliver government services and programs," Dwight Ball said in the release. 

He will replace Julia Mullaley, who will become acting CEO of the N.L. Housing Corporation.

Tom Lawrence, who has been in charge of the housing corporation since Progressive Conservative John Ottenheimer was dismissed in July, will retire at the end of the month.