City Council Approves Lisa Morrissey New Health Director

Lisa Morrissey, new city health director. Photo: H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

The City Council Monday night approved the appointment of Lisa Morrissey as director of health. All the dissenters argued she’s fully qualified but voted no because she’s not a resident of the city during this historic national pandemic when Connecticut’s largest city’s in need of leadership after the departure of Maritza Bond, now health chief in New Haven.

Morrissey most recently was health director of the city of Danbury.

The vote was 11-8 with one abstention, according to City Councilman Matt McCarthy.

The most intriguing no vote strategically was that of Marcus Brown, a candidate for State Senate challenging incumbent Marilyn Moore, who had no problem supporting AJ Perez for police chief even though he lives in Trumbull, promised to move into Bridgeport but has not.

Brown is an ally for Mayor Joe Ganim. Sometimes distancing yourself from a mayoral appointment to make a point of independence on the campaign trail has consequences. You can’t have it both ways. It’s okay to support Perez residing out of the city, but not the new health director during a pandemic to score perceived political points?

The amount of mayoral appointees current and past is down the block, around the corner, across the city line, into the next county and sometimes another state.

And so it goes …

The council also approved a resolution advanced by East End City Councilman Ernie Newton, an advocate for the second-chance community, calling for suspension of incarceration for technical violations, release of elderly and “vulnerable people” onto supervision, suspending probation office visits and payment of fines, as well as free medical visits and treatment, hand sanitizers, soap and protective gear.

The resolution proposes creation of a Safer Supervision Committee to urge Governor Ned Lamont to advance the requests via an executive order as part of an COVID-19 response initiative.

The resolution has no force other than what it can do to influence gubernatorial action.



  1. The City Charter requires that the Police Chief reside in Bridgeport.
    Chief Perez agreed to move to Bridgeport.
    The City Charter requires that the Health Director reside in Bridgeport.
    Lisa Morrissey has stated publicly that she would not move to Bridgeport.
    Given that Morrissey stated she would not comply with the City Charter, voting to approve her appointment would be ignoring a charter requirement. Those council members who voted to approve Morrissey’s appointment have violated the City Charter.
    What is the city council doing regarding Perez’s non-compliance with the Charter they have sworn to enforce?

  2. Quite ballsy of Lisa AND the mayor.

  3. Paging Carmen Lopez.
    Now let’s see what she can do outside of Parking Ticket Court.
    There are two, Heath Director and Chief of Police clearly violating the City Charter and a Mayor who is all to willing to go along with it.

    1. Bob, Mayor Ganim won’t force A.J. Perez to move back to Bridgeport because Joe owed him big time for the investigation during Ganim 1 and because the Ramsey Report and the investigation by the FBI on how Perez became the Police Chief, so why make Perez move when he’s probably won’t have a job here.

      1. And besides all of the evidence in that case has been long gone. If there were any fine wines left I’m sure they drank it when GANIM won his comeback.

  4. Rich
    You are missing the point. A state judge can order the mayor to enforce the charter. Period.
    Yet your heroes, Carmen Lopez & Maria P, have done nothing. Is it simply because there is no involvement of Mario Testa so you have no dog in this fight???

    1. Just as a retired city councilman no longer has the power of office, so does a retired judge no longer have the power to enforce your questionable tasks!

    2. Bob, first of all I don’t miss any points here. You just don’t understand my sarcasm and many of my facetious comments. My heroes are anyone who puts themselves out there to help a better cause not those who sit on the sidelines and complain about everything but do nothing. The vote was 11 to 8 so why hasn’t anyone listed who voted against it. We don’t know that do we. And how do you know that Mario didn’t have a hand in it. And whether Mario was involved in it or not I don’t really care but I’m sure that the person that they just hired isn’t bringing something unique to the table, that they allowed this to happen. I guess there was no one in Bridgeport that could’ve done that job and not enough people on the council to make that fact known. Instead they just did what they always do: vote yes without asking many or any questions or raising any eyebrows. No one on the council pushed back and told that person that She has to move into the city. That’s the council fault is it not? There’s a reason why they have a residency requirements in these jobs and that’s to make sure that the people have a vested interest in the city that they serve. Lynn Haig lives in Oxford and makes decisions on shaping Bridgeport.
      Bob maybe your memory is slipping but if you go back to ANY of the topics that involve residency, ineptness, or real or perceived wrong doing – AJ , Haig, council members or any of those people that come up in controversial topics, you will see that I’ve often opined on and placed criticism and facts about what I know against them.
      Mostly though, I just like to post sarcastic or facetious comments to get people’s blood boiling while making a point that most times can be disagreed with but not refuted. After all, it’s Bridgeport and nothing will change, right???!!!

      1. Bridgeport is just like the state of Connecticut. Can’t do business in an honest manner. Just ask Ray Dalio who’s pulling his $100 million which was going to help education in the state.
        And at the state level now, the Democrats will blame the Republicans and vice versa. Just remember it takes two to tango. Cheers !!!!!

        1. Rich, $100 million, and five years is 20 million a year for a private/public partnership with a says on how to educate the government education system educates public school children. 20 million to 11 billion, maybe they wanted more say than their token was worth or this Corona pandemic slowed their income. Who knows how this tango went down.
          Cheers. JS

    3. Bob, one hero, Carmen Lopez. As for Maria Pereira and Mario Testa they are two of a kind, I’ve never been a friend of either of them. Bob, what I’m outrage about is that blacks and Hispanics keep putting Mario Testa back in charge of the Democratic Town Committee and they know that Mario Testa doesn’t give a dam abt them.

  5. Hey Dumbass. A retired judge who is not retired from the CT Bar as a lawyer can sue in court.
    I realize this might be too complicated for an outsider from Trumbull to understand.
    Go back to bed and try again when you’ve had some more rest.

      1. P.S Ron Judge Lopez may be one hero but your take on Mario and Maria doesn’t add up. Maria voted against Lisa so if they are of the same kind Mario was against Lisa and the black and Latinos who voted for her was against Mario. Maybe it’s your outrage that doesn’t give a damn about blacks and Latinos. Are your outrage at the blacks, Latinos, and whites who didn’t vote against this black woman or against Mario and Maria who did. Not quite sure what you are saying but it sounds like blacks and Latinos don’t give a damn about blacks and Latinos because the voted for a white person, (Mario) while saying the while person doesn’t give a damn about them. I have a question for you. Do you think Lisa Morrissey gives a damn about blacks and Latinos or is she just another black woman who makes you outrageous who took a city job? I mean are you happy a black woman got a 6 figure city job. 🙂 JA

  6. There you have it, Tim Wise, “you have to convince them that their skin color is more important.

    If she was white Tom White would be silent as Day is, for if she was white Day would have let OIB know of is dissatisfaction and Ron deflection of it on other non-black employees as a means of justification.

    Bob, I do wonder if Judge Lopez will chime in with an eloquent commentary for OIB readers to enjoy on the matter, but I expect Maria will not because she is banned. 🙂 However, I did have the pleasure of reading her and Ernie going at it on his Facebook page. Maria, you “thoroughly enjoy debating those that stick their nose into an exchange that is absolutely none of their business and then when they are addressed head-on are unable to stay focused and just veer off into all kinds of topics, make statements they can never substantiate, make threatening comments, and so on and so on… That’s when you know you have won the debate.” No Maria you know won the debate when they don’t want to addresses the facts and block you. with or without good punctuation. Burn the tapes.BAM 🙂

    P.S JML while it is not financial-related it’s transparent. According to Bob, she is not sacrificing her home to move to the Port. Do you have any comments about the current violation of the city charter rules? My guess is black and the white lines will eventually become just the sides on the chessboard moving their pawns and piece across it.

    Until then listen to Yoda Jeff. 🙂 Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  7. Let me see if I know my people in the 139th! Enida Martinez voted NO and Ernie Newton voted YES! See if I know my ass, That’s Exactly How The Vote Went! NO DOUBT!

    1. Day, can’t speak for your ass but it’s saying the Puerto Rican voted no and the black voted yes for the black candidate. Maybe that’s where your brain got, ” black people will never vote for a Puerto Rican” from your ass. JS.

    2. Except for Marcus Brown, all African American council members voted for Morrissey. That’s one block of votes.
      Joe just had to twist a couple of arms to get to ten.

        1. Ron
          NO i had no problem supporting her. In 1981 i was faced with the same issue with then Lenny Paolletta who was Mayor at that time. He appointed some people who didn’t live in Bridgeport but was facing a hardship to move into the city. The City council at that time granted Waivers. I was thinking because of this COVID-19 we needed a qualified Health Director. She never said she would not move to Bridgeport, she said that she has 4 young children in different schools in Danbury school system. Based on State Statue if we didn’t vote on this issue the state health commissioner has the right to appoint someone to fill the position and the residency requirement is out the window. We need a plan in place in Bridgeport to address our communities with Blacks and Brown to be tested and save lives!

          1. What about White, Asian, or any other race group that doesn’t fit in that black and brown category?

            Ernie, you were a champion of city employees’ residency, and you just violated it. That last sentence and your vote to waiver the city residency says it all.

            Bond’s left before the COVID-19 and Morrissey is coming in on the back end of the first wave of this pandemic with months before the second, not to mention that there are many free testing site already set up in the city for “residency” Which I don’t really understand, without having systems it just a distraction, I mean you get tested today don’t mean you can’t get it tomorrow. Even though like your require residency resolutions, champion Black and Brown residents or praising God, it mostly lip service, or should I say politicking for support.

            That being said. I think the required residency is overreaching, especially when you are hiring someone from outside the city. There should be a low-interest loan program and reduced tax abatement for city employees who live in a residential home in the city they work in instead of those overreaching union contracts that are bankrupting the states and bleeding city like the ATU union asking for additional hazard pay that the state has to pay ( I believe) In a time when the state is losing revenue, cities are laying off people, and food pantry lines are miles long with voluntary putting themselves are a risk because of this pandemic. Precaution, I understand.

            P.S Ernie there’s a very big difference between 1981 and today, the comment section. people can call you out, especially politicians on the hypocrisy, and you know who’s to blame? JS


          2. Ernie, what Lenny Paoletta did in 1981 is one of the reasons why there was a charter revision so that issue would correct by law. Everyone who applied for the position knew what the requirement were for the position. At what point in the process did Lisa Morrissey make it know that she could not reside in Bridgeport as it’s a requirement? Did Ms Morrissey asked for a wavier for residency until she was able to related to Bridgeport? Was Lisa Morrissey the only candidate that fit what the City was seeking? Ernie, when this problem came up why didn’t council put out a statement about the problem instead of people seeking for answers on OIB? By the way Ernie, do you know when A.J. Perez, the police chief is moving to Bridgeport?

  8. So why did Lyons abstain?
    When taking he Ayes and Nays, no one can abstain unless there is a conflict of interest high must be stated when they abstain.
    That, or close, is the language of the City Charter. Did anyone call Michelle out and have her state here conflict? I’m sure not. But she cannot abstain because she can’t make up her mind.

  9. Did she state what the conflict was?
    It cannot be a conflict because she likes her but she doesn’t want to break the charter.
    If she did state the conflict or the “conflict” was not a conflict of interest the City Clerk should have been directed to cast a negative vote.

    1. Matthew McCarthy says:
      May 19, 2020 at 7:34 pm
      Opposed: McCarthy, Cruz, Brown, Vizzo- Paniccia, DeFilippo, Silva, Castillo and Pereira.

      Lyons abstained.

  10. Ernie, like Ron I’m concerned that you couldn’t find a resident to fill this position and equally concerned that she stated she would never move to Bridgeport.

    Ernie you say she didn’t say she wouldn’t move to Bridgeport yet most of the city council members focused their criticism on the hiring process, either complaining not enough candidates were interviewed or taking issue with the fact Morrissey would not be moving from Danbury to Bridgeport as necessitated by the charter. Ernie, you’re supposed to be an proponent for hiring Bridgeport resident’s yet just not in this case? I’m not intimating that Lisa Morrissey isn’t qualified, but I am saying that like Hartford, Department Heads must move to the city in one year as a condition of employment! This city council can’t continue to circumvent the laws to make Mayor Ganim happy. That’s wrong, immoral and unjust! Are you and this City Council ever going to do what’s in the best interest of Bridgeport and is residents and not what’s in the best interest of Mayor Ganim?

    1. Don, again all roads lead to David Dunn, maybe the FBI could look into this hiring seeing they the feds are already looking at David Dunn and a few others with hiring of AJ Perez? I’m sure that Ms Morrissey is a good candidate for the position but the City Charter is just a rug to walk on.


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