Bridgeport Leaders React to Charges Against Acting Personnel Director, Police Chief

Bridgeport’s acting personnel director and police chief have both resigned after they were arrested on federal fraud charges.

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Bridgeport’s acting personnel director has resigned after he and the city’s police chief were arrested Thursday.

David Dunn and former police chief Armando Perez accused of rigging the search for a new police chief in 2018, a job Perez received. Perez has resigned.

NBC Connecticut reached out to him and his lawyer multiple times for comment and have not heard back.

Bridgeport Police Captain Roderick Porter and former New Haven Assistant Chief, now Connecticut Capitol Police Chief Luiz Casanova were also up for the chief position in 2018.

Porter said he's saddened for the citizens of Bridgeport and the officers who do "tremendous work.” He couldn't say much more as he's currently suing the city.

In a federal complaint, Porter claims they refused to hire him for the chief or assistant chief position "because he opposed the racially hostile work environment to which he was subjugated."

Mayor Joe Ganim's office says the city could not comment on pending litigation.

Ganim was not made available for an interview Friday, but in a video posted to social media Thursday, he said safety remains a priority in Bridgeport.

In a video provided to NBC Connecticut by his office Friday, it shows the mayor swearing in the assistant chief as the acting leader for now.

"And I know during the transition, now former Chief Perez will give you the support that you need," said Ganim.

"It's really important that as the city transitions through what most people say is common in Bridgeport, and they're going to speak negatively, the council is going to work to ensure that we continue working on public trust and accountability," said Aidee Nieves, city council president.

Right now, Nieves said they have the mayor's back, but they're hoping to have more of a hand in the future job search process.

Instead of just approving the new chief's contract when all is said and done, they hope to add a council member or a resident to the interview panel.

“We want to make sure public trust has not been compromised,” said Nieves.

She said they'll push for the new search to begin on a broader scale within the next 90 days, as the community continues to wrap their head around the allegations.

"Only in Bridgeport, it's unfortunate, but as a community we still have to come together strong,” said Devon Brown, a lifelong Bridgeport resident.

"Do it the right way, you cheat you think you're not going to get caught. It's also unfair for the other people who were also applying for that job who were highly qualified,” said Ericka Laminggio, who works in Bridgeport.

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