Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia on Wednesday announced a shakeup in the ranks that includes senior officials challenging her ascension to assistant chief prior to her appointment as top cop last year following the resignation of AJ Perez awaiting sentencing for rigging the police examination.
Garcia recently told members of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that department restructuring would take place.
“I have been doing restructuring within our department, looking at the needs assessment, hearing what the council and community has to say. We are restructuring. Just give me a little bit of time.”
So the department shakeup is not a surprise. The personalities involved, a different story.
Fitzgerald and Porter have challenged Garcia’s appointment as assistant police chief in Superior Court. Last week, Mayor Joseph Ganim was served with a notice that he will have to give a deposition in the case and explain why Garcia was promoted despite claims that she wasn’t qualified.
It’s unclear if there’s any linkage but East End City Council member Ernie Newton is urging chairs of the Public Safety Committee Maria Valle and Mary McBride-Lee to call an emergency meeting with Garcia to explain the changes.
“Our police dept has gone through many bad situations,” writes Newton in an email. “The changes Chief Garcia had made looks like retaliation against officers who have filed law suit against her and the City of Bridgeport. We as a council should be pushing for the Mayor to put out a search for a Police chief here in the city of Bridgeport. I hope the chairman of public safety will today!”
There’s no specificity in the City Charter for the mayor to initiate a national search for chief.