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Governor Perry’s Appointment to Lead the Division of Workers Compensation Remains an Unknown

Workcompcentral recently released an article discussing Governor Rick Perry’s choice to lead the Division of Worker’s Compensation, Ryan Brennan. But who is Ryan Brannan? The column reveals that many workers’ compensation attorneys in Texas are asking the same thing though those within the state’s insurance industry claim this is a gentlemen with whom  they are very famiiliar.

Governor Perry’s announcement spoke of Brannan’s past as advisor within the Office of the Division of Budget, Planning and Policy. The Governor stated Brannan was “ focused on issues relating to the insurance industry, including workers’ compensation insurance.” However, Brannan’s history suggests otherwise.

Brannan’s Linkedin account shows he worked at a law firm focusing on dispute-resolution, lead a Philanthropic Society for a few years and was a policy analyst for about two. In November of 2011, Brannan joined the governor’s office as an adviser.

Joe Woods, vice president of state government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, admits he worked directly with Brannan on insurance matters, but that none were workers’ compensation issues. Woods considers Brannan a very conservative guy with no hidden motives and went on to say, “I don’t think he’ll be turning over any apple carts with a brand new regulatory philosophy. I think he’ll be fair and do a good job.”

Brannan studied Political Science at Southern Methodist University before obtaining a Masters In Business Administration from the same university in 2009. Before achieving the MBA he received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2006.

Attorney Mike Doyle, one of the founding partners of Doyle Dennis Avery LLP , concedes he hadn’t heard of Brannan and stated, “He’s got his law degree, his MBA, he’s worked in Perry’s office, but what does that mean? For example, in terms of stakeholder meetings, in terms of involvement, they will be there meeting with Rod Bordelon every week. But there’s no indication anywhere yet. I just don’t have any knowledge at all.”

Doyle adds he‘s hoping Brannan will obverse and change the way injured workers’ claims are handled and the dispute-resolution process. Likewise, John Pringle, an Austin claimant and defense attorney, knew nothing of Brannan before this announcement. Attorney Pringle believes the position needs to be filled by someone with a familiarity of the legal issues.

The article also gives the reaction of Professional Claims Intervention’s Trey Gillespiea, senior workers’ compensation director; “It’s one thing to have a good global grasp of insurance issues and workers’ compensation issues. It’s another thing to basically have a certain level of mastery over the minutiae of the system. And that’s going to be the hard part.”

Brannan’s term will end February 1, 2015, at that point in time Governor Rick Perry’s seat will likely be succeeded by State Attorney General Greg Abbott or Senator Wendy Davis.

The full article can be found at: