Gov. Paul LePage nominated acting Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Ricker Hamilton to be commissioner Tuesday.

Ricker Hamilton

“We will continue to bring fiscal responsibility and accountability to this department while improving and reforming the programs that are vital to many of our most vulnerable citizens,” LePage said in announcing the nomination.

Hamilton has served as acting commissioner since June 2017, after former commissioner Mary Mayhew resigned to run in the Republican primary for governor. LePage is term limited, and whoever wins the November 2018 election will decide whether to retain or replace Hamilton in the health and human services post.

Ricker will appear before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee for a confirmation hearing. The committee will then submit a recommendation to the Senate, which may take up the nomination at a special session later this month.

The nomination Hamilton had been deputy commissioner of programs at DHHS since 2013. He has managed the Offices of Aging and Disability Services, Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center and Riverview Psychiatric Center. He was also program administrator for adult protective services at DHHS and an instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Hamilton earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Anselm College in 1976 and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College in 1984.

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