NU Online News Service, Jan. 7, 3:56 p.m. EST

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed attorney Mike Rothman as head of the state’s Commerce Department. He will start Jan. 12.

Most recently with Winthrop & Weinstine in Minneapolis as co-chair of the firm’s Insurance and Financial Services Group, Mr. Rothman “brings a dedicated commitment to leading what has been, from many reports, a troubled agency,” said Gov. Dayton.

According to the governor’s office, Mr. Rothman worked on the insurance insolvencies of Mission Insurance Companies and Executive Life, and he has represented clients in federal and state courts. He has also taught insurance law and regulation at the University of Minnesota Law School.

The American Insurance Association (AIA) hailed the appointment, calling Mr. Rothman “a tough negotiator and a talented lawyer dedicated to protecting and serving his clients.”

The choice demonstrates that Gov. Dayton wants to continue a “common-sense approach of insurance oversight and regulation,” said Steve Schneider, AIA vice president for the Midwest region.