City Council President Strips Pereira Of Committee Assignments, Cites Chaos And Disruption

On Saturday, City Council President Aidee Nieves called a caucus at the Margaret Morton Government Center to rally a united front in advance of Monday night’s meeting of the city’s legislative body.

A key issue centered on taxpayers covering legal expenses of outside lawyers representing municipal employees in the federal government’s probe of the 2018 police chief test, something councilwoman Maria Pereira opposes.

Pereira and councilman Michael DeFilippo have been pushing for an end to that city policy. Caucuses, closed to the public, are conferences of members from one party to discuss business. Nieves requested that council members leave their cell phones behind to create a relaxed environment. Pereira’s attempt to bring in her phone, presumably to record the caucus, was rejected.

City Council President Aidee Nieves.

Pereira suggested, according to Nieves, that the council president had no more authority than anyone else on the council. Nieves showed her what council presidents can do.

Nieves subsequently removed Pereira from the following committees: Contracts, Public Safety, Special Committee on Community Development Block Grant and liaison to the Water Pollution Control Authority.

Nieves’s decision is not one moment in time. She asserts it’s a series of things including Pereira’s inflammatory language and threats unproductive to the body politic.

Nieves said she wanted to create a safe environment with no recordings so members could talk openly, adding that too often Pereira’s interrogating style attempts to turn council meetings into courtrooms.

Maria Pereira and Ernie Newton during happier times.

Nieves statement:

“After careful consideration of the behavior of all members of the council I decided to exercise my right under City Council Rule XII. Council members have been warned in the past that they must adhere to all City Council rules and follow the appropriate parliamentary protocol.

As council president I must react to the membership when chairs are not living up to their duties or when members are found to be disruptive with the inability to build working relationships with colleagues in committee meetings.

There is a growing sense on the council that nothing is getting done. Every meeting is chaotic and a growing sense of a negative work space.

These changes are my attempt to yield the most positive and productive environment for the council to rebuild consensus and respect for differences.”

Pereira is a dogged researcher who digs deep into public documents and public personalities with an unrelenting persona that puts people on edge. Her work, however, can lead to valuable public information such as uncovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to outside lawyers, at taxpayer expense, to represent municipal employees in federal probes, an amount that has now ballooned to more than $600,000 according to payments she has tracked in the serpentine world of public disclosure.

“If she would just channel her ability to working with people she’d get so much more accomplished,” says councilman Ernie Newton. “She’s into character assassination. You may not agree with one another but decorum is necessary. Aidee had to show her.”

Newton’s replacing DeFilippo as co-chair of the budget committee, DeFilippo, perhaps, collateral damage in the sanctions against Pereira.

Committee roadblocks won’t prevent Pereira from her bureaucratic persistence. She’s something of a human snowplow in pursuit of public information.

Newton wonders is it really about the public’s right to know or Pereira’s preoccupation with herself?

This latest chapter shows council members are trying to isolate Pereira’s tenacity. She’s one among 20. On the Board of Education she was one among nine. Where’s the lasting coalition?

Her enemies’ list comes with a razor’s edge than can be Pyrrhic in nature. Does the cost sacrifice the endgame?

One thing’s for sure, she’s not going away. Not her style.



  1. The question isn’t whether or not Maria is deserving of this action, the real Question is who wrote this for City Council President Aidee Nieves? Could it have been City Attorney Bohannon or Meyers or did Hamilton Burger put pen to paper. I’ve yet to read anything that has come out of this City Council that was as cogent and articulate as this piece.

    Ernie, it was the publics right to know that this robbing of the City Piggy Bank is being done right before the eyes of the City Council and the residents of Bridgeport. The fact is even though I don’t particularly care for Maria, you or none of the other City Council members would have said a damn thing about this glaring miscarriage of justice being perpetrated on the residents of Bridgeport had she not called attention to it! Anytime the rules are being circumvented for the benefit of a few, it’s in the best interest of the public to know!

    1. Don, no surprise here, everybody knew Maria’s past and that she couldn’t protect her because she could never form a coalition of 10 other council members. With nobody behind her it didn’t matter how good anything Maria bought up it wasn’t going to pass. Ernie once again is doing exactly what Mario and Joe wants, just like Joe said that he didn’t have anything to do with Dunn and Perez in their action but Dunn knew what Joe wanted and he agreed to act, well Ernie is not different, he’ll tell you that nobody told him what to do just like Dunn but Ernie knows the deal. Ernie,do you think that the taxpayers should pay for legal fees for Dunn and Perez?


        1. Hey,…..Maria has never broken the law as a “politician”. As a matter of fact so far she has been guided by the Honorable Judge Carmen Lopez. So I don’t know who you are but maybe you should get your facts straight. Maria constantly points out where all the inequities are and all people like you do is criticize her for doing that. Comments such as yours make me wonder whether or not you really want things to get better.

        2. Mamie, you have learn a lot over the years about politic and the Democrats operate in Bridgeport. You have been right there to see the good and bad who the players are and you have seen them come and go at every level.

          Don was right on target and I feel the same way when he said this to Ernie, “even though I don’t particularly care for Maria, you or none of the other City Council members would have said a damn thing about this glaring miscarriage of justice being perpetrated on the residents of Bridgeport had she not called attention to it! Anytime the rules are being circumvented for the benefit of a few, it’s in the best interest of the public to know!” Maria does good research and she can address some serious issues confronting the city but Maria doesn’t have a working relationship with any of the other council member including Samia Suliman, the other council member who ran with Maria but now she has nothing to do with Maria.

          Mamie, you’re right, Maria doesn’t know how to win friends and influence people. Maria doesn’t know how to play politic here in Bridgeport, the name of the game is 50% plus in order to get things pass n the City Council My good friend Mamie, good hearing from you.

  2. Chaos and disruption are the infrequent consequences of truth-seeking. Using only a cell phone, nobody pursues the truth better than Maria Pereira. Her critics are unable to silence her antics so they moved to limit her power. It’s legal but weak. I suspect a conspiracy.
    Lasting determination precedes a lasting coalition. Pereira’s in touch with the future while other CC members cling to the politics-of-the-past.
    They’ll join her fan club before she joins theirs.

  3. well I don’t know Maria but it sounds to me if there were more like her the city would be in way better shape. They fight her for everything , they hate to be proven wrong time in and time out. Maria for Mayor!!!!! probably what the port truly needs……………….

  4. Ernie Newton (the Lindsey Graham of the East End) he can careless about The Suffering Taxpayers of Bridgeport!
    What’s $600k among friends, kill the message says Newton!

  5. Aidee, Aidee, Aidee
    What have you done???
    “With the inability to build working relationships with colleagues in committee meetings.” Is that really in the Council Rules?
    This is why you removed her from here committees? Really?
    I am not going to accuse you of having a ghost writer but if you believe that is in the Council Rules you had better reread those rules. I do not believe that you actually wrote that. And if you did then you had better study those rules some more. And if you did not you had better find another person to ghost write for you because whoever put those words into your mouth did a greater disservice to you than you realize.

  6. And if memory serves me correctly, back when I was on the council the council as a whole had to approve it Council assignments whether they were the initial assignments at the organizational meeting or in the course of the council year. So you have given them a bully pulpit from which to speak. So you had better have all of your arguments in a line and be prepared to defend them.

  7. And specifically I would like to know what Council Representative Mike DeFilippo did to deserve such punishment.
    Is it simply because he dare to question the propriety of the city covering legal bills for select individuals? Now it definitely sounds like you are truly trying to control the council and will punish anyone who steps out of line.
    Are you Council president or did you change it to Council Dictator?

    1. And the lord Mario said to his disciple: you will support this revolution and gain favor from the doubters and we’ll go forward from there.
      Maybe, maybe not.
      We’ll see.
      Future DTC chair,….mayor???
      Are the puppeteers strings coming off or are they steering the marionette?

  8. Coach T, just because Maria uncovered the blinds of conceit on this issue don’t try to make her out like she’s not a vile, vindictive, mean spirited a my way or the highway type of woman, who will use anything to humiliate someone WHO SHE THINKS HAS OFFENDED HER. She will use family or race if it fits into her equation of acceptable behavior. She’s never bothered by the use of over-dramatization to prove a point or to hurt someone’s character. Other than that Coach, She’s Aight.

    1. Well Mr. Day you are correct with how she goes about it all and her treatment towards others, but you can’t beat results. Surprise the post don’t hire her as an investigator

    2. Don
      Thank you
      This had nothing to do with her fighting for what she believes to be right. It has do with the disrespect she shows others who may not agree with her. Many of you saw her behavior on the board of education how she attack members on that board. Even before she got on the city council what did she do she looked up everyone’s Attendance record and shared it on OIB,Thank God I had a good Attendance record. She will only work with those that dare not challenge what she said.It sad because it’s been issues that many council people could have supported but because of the way she has treated others on the city council. The Vote has always been kill anything she brings forward. Always remember it’s how you treat other when you need their Votes!

      1. Well Ernie how much more ignorance can you possibly show. Please read what you just wrote. It’s never about what Maria brought up as a topic it’s about voting down anything that she brought up? Council members including yourself just vote no because it was Maria’s idea. No thought or discussion as to how whatever it was could help the city. Please tell us you misspoke!
        If you didn’t then you and your fellow council members should resign. If you and others can’t put personal feelings aside then you will never do anything that is better for the people. How about gathering around one of Maria’s (or anyone’s elses) ideas and forming a “coalition” to forward it “for the good of the people”?
        You “could have supported” but for personal reasons you didn’t.
        How nice.

        1. I cant believe the stupidity, ignorance, arrogance and herd mentality approach of these idiots.
          Oh wait, yes I can, and I’ve opined about it continuously.

    3. Do, that’s why she’s Maria can not post on OIB, she did that to her self without any help, Maria feels that she can say what she wants and nobody can do anything about it, well Lennie showed that Maria won’t post on OIB.

  9. Well,well,well,Maria &DeFilippo come out against Joe and demand he resigns,and the result?..They are stripped of their committee assignments.This is blatant censorship & a “I’ll show you” stance taken by Joe(make no mistake,this council wouldn’t do something like this without getting Joe’s blessing first).
    And now Nieves says ..”There is a growing sense on the council that nothing is getting done. Every meeting is chaotic and a growing sense of a negative work space”…Aidee,”nothing gets done” because the council doesn’t think on their own,they sit there and wait for directives from Joe,afraid if they dare have a thought on their own,they will not get the support during the next cycle.To come out a say nothing gets done because of Maria is simply an excuse and no one is buying it.
    On to Ernie’s unbelievable statement….”Newton wonders is it really about the public’s right to know or Pereira’s preoccupation with herself?”
    Ernie,I had to read this statement 3 times,I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Is it about the public’s right to know???.Ernie,I realize your have bigger aspirations than remaining a councilperson,and you’ll need Mario’s blessing to attain those dreams,but for god’s sake,for once in your life,take a stand for what YOU believe in,and not worry about the repercussions if you go against Joe’s &Mario’s directives.Newsflash Ernie,the public ‘has the right to know EVERYTHING,as much as Joe tries to keep most of the underhand things he does secret,thank goodness people like Maria who think for themselves and aren’t afraid of “upsetting” things.
    This council should be thanking Maria for putting hours upon hours into uncovering the corruption happening in this administration,instead,this council votes to censor her to keep things quiet.

  10. So Aidee,
    Are members of the caucus sworn to super secrecy when going into caucus?
    Are members of the caucus not allowed to take notes while in caucus?
    If a quote comes out of The super secret caucus and 19 members say they didn’t leak it, do you just assume that the one member who wasn’t asked let it out?
    Please, no one really cares but a few what is said in caucus and that’s because you are just protecting the mayor and his staff. Or gossiping.

  11. I guess because the Feds tapped Joe’s,Armando’s,&Dunn’s cellphones,Joe gave the order that phones shouldn’t be allowed in meetings that corruption is going to be discussed..Answer this again for me,what innocent person gets a new cellphone & number when they think their’s has been tapped??..An innocent person would keep their cell just to prove they aren’t doing anything wrong…

  12. Miss Piggy knows Maria is no threat to becoming Council President, but Michael DeFellipo is. And by the way Jeannette, did you support your partner? I hope you did because loyalty goes a long way, but being a coward goes even longer, and eventually does you in. Maria, take it to court, I’ll kick in.

  13. Like I said,this council is spinless and does exactly as directed…and the City attorney’s office support it…Counting the days till Joe’s indictment at this point,Bpt will never move forward till he gets out..
    BRIDGEPORT — The City Council overwhelmingly rejected resolutions to immediately appoint a new police chief and fire the outside lawyers responding to the ongoing FBI corruption probe.

    The meeting, conducted on a virtual Zoom platform, at times was beset with technical issues including members losing their internet connection or talking over one another.

    The debate included a discussion of several proposals from Council Member Maria Pereira that included replacing acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia, providing more oversight of outside lawyers and the consultants responding to the FBI investigation, terminating the lawyers representing former Police Chief Armando Perez and former interim Finance Director David Dunn and recouping the money spent on the city’s response to the FBI probes.

    Kelvin Ayala, a downtown businessman, joined Pereira in urging the Council to ratify the proposals Pereira had crafted.

    “Are we embarrassed yet?” Ayala asked the council members in attendance. “At what point do we start to feel shame with the state of the City of Bridgeport? I am asking you guys as the 20 elected City Council members … to start really looking at your elected office, the oath that you took and the residents of Bridgeport that you’re here to serve.”

    “Today we’re going to find out who stands up for the residents and who doesn’t,” Pereira said.

    Pereira’s resolutions were made in the wake of the FBI arrests of Perez and Dunn. Both resigned their jobs after being charged by the FBI in an alleged scheme to rig the civil service exam and the eventual appointment of Perez as police chief.

    Ganim has denied any role in the scheme.

    The city confirmed Friday the attorneys had been let go once Perez and Dunn were charged.

    City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer issued a legal opinion Monday before the council meeting that the City Charter gives his office the authority to hire outside legal counsel if their expertise is needed to handle “federal investigatory subpoenas” and Robert Frost, who represented Perez; Kerry Lawrence, who represented Ganim’s Chief of Staff Dan Shamas; J. Bruce Maffeo, who represented Ganim; and Fred Paoletti, who represented Dunn; “have all been notified that their services at city expense are terminated.”

    As for consultants Guidepost Solutions, Meyer said, their “work regarding government subpoena compliance is close to concluding.”

    Meyer said representation may be re-instituted “if and when the government requests additional data compliance or interviews.”

    He said his office would take “all appropriate legal means to recoup such legal fees and expenses incurred.”

    Pereira, Ayala and former State Rep. Chris Caruso, among others, have demanded that Ganim appoint a full-time chief from the remaining seven candidates on the certified active employment list presented during the 2018 chief search.

    Among them is Capt. Roderick Porter, one of the three finalists, who has sued the city in federal court over being denied the job. That case is pending.

    Pereira told the council that by not acting on her proposal to replace Garcia with someone on the civil service list, she believes they’d be “adding a lot of wood to the fire” and risking significant settlement “by blatantly and flagrantly” ignoring the employment list.

    Caruso, who was unable to speak at Monday’s meeting because of health issues, has said he and other “aggrieved city residents” will file a civil suit seeking an injunction against the mayor for violating the City Charter if he does not appoint a full-time chief from the employment list before the list expires Oct. 18.

    Another of the city’s attorneys, John Bohannon, also issued an opinion Monday urging the council not to get involved in the police chief appointment since, according to the charter, that is the responsibility of the civil service personnel director and its commission.

    Bohannon said he believes any council action has “the potential to impede or otherwise compromise any ongoing federal investigation or proceeding.”

    Only Pereira and Michael DeFilippo supported the motion to immediately appoint someone from the civil service list. Michele Lyons, Rosalina Roman-Christy and Samia Suliman abstained, they said, because of possible conflicts.

    Two other resolutions proposed by Pereira also were defeated.

    One would have provided further oversight of Guidepost Solutions as well as turn over invoices, purchase orders and payments to attorneys and consultants representing current and former city employees.

    The other amended resolution requested termination and collection of payments to the attorneys involved with Ganim, Shamas, Dunn and Perez. Neither Ganim nor Shamas have been accused of any wrongdoing. It also asked that any future contracts related to a federal probe be presented to the Contracts Committee before being executed.

    Council member Ernie Newton, who co-chairs the Contracts Committee, said his committee previously voted against the resolutions. He also said some of the items are restricted because of the ongoing federal investigation.

  14. Ernie, here is the reason why the hiring list should be used to appoint a new Police Chief bas on the fact that the “Acting” Personnel Director David Dunn also violated this section of the City Charter.

    No person shall deceive or obstruct any person in respect to his or her right of test under the provisions of this act or falsely mark, grade or estimate or report upon the test or standing of any person tested hereunder, or aid in so doing, or furnish to any person, except in answer to inquiries of the commission, any special information for the purpose of either improving or injuring the rating of any such person for appointment, employment or promotion. No applicant shall deceive the commission for the purpose of improving his chances or prospects for appointment or promotion. No person shall solicit, orally or by letter, and no public officer or employee shall receive or be in any manner concerned in the receiving or soliciting of any money or valuable thing from any officer or employee holding a position in the classified service for any political party or purpose. No person shall use or promise to use his influence or official authority to secure any appointment or promotion or prospect of appointment or promotion to any position classified under this act as a reward or return for personal or partisan political service. No public officer or employee shall, by means of threats or coercion, induce or attempt to induce any person holding a position in the classified service to resign his position or to take a leave of absence from duty or to waive any of his rights under this act. A resignation executed previous to appointment shall be of no effect.

  15. *** This has nothing to do with Maria always looking & digging for any type of past or present dirt on city government politicians, employees or anyone who she does not see eye to eye with on a subject & or personality issue. She can have all her i’s dotted & t’s crossed when it comes to certain city political & government rules & regulations, however many times her style of disagreeing on a point or subjects with certain people seems to be very negative & confrontational on many occasions. So in my limited opinion, it was action that took a long time coming! ***

  16. “…There is a growing sense on the council that nothing is getting done. Every meeting is chaotic and a growing sense of a negative work space…”

    There is a “growing sense” among the conscious Bridgeport-public that nothing (much-less anything Good) is being done by the CC, in terms of bread-and-butter actions and legislation, or anything that might lead to such legislations and action. Resolutions are fine, but, in the end, they are mostly for “show” and to “cover the ass” of the CC and City Hall concerning hot-button issues. But really, for CC President Nieves to sideline council activists trying to provide the right kind of energy and light during one of Bridgeport’s darkest hours, when “sunlight” is what is needed to kill the political pathogens that infect the function of our government even as they kill our City, might indicate that the CC President is our Pathogen-in-Chief (in waiting) and that most of the CC itself is pathogenic and afraid of the “sunlight” that would sanitize City Hall/the CC and allow Bridgeport to breathe again — without the state-federal $ventilator$ that keeps our comatose municipality “breathing” despite the “lungs” of this city being overwhelmed by political pathogens from within and without. (“We can’t breathe!”)

    It’s time for the state to take over all aspects of governance of Bridgeport. There is no functional aspect to Bridgeport city government at this time. It is rotten through-and-through and serves only to facilitate political/economic parasitism from within and without.

    Bridgeport’s Charter must be revoked by the State, and Bridgeport overseen by the state until such time as it can be re-invented/re-incorporated/re-chartered in some political/geographic configuration that lends itself to socioeconomic viability.

    In the mean-time; Mayor Ganim (in his second, tragic go-round) and the whole CC (led by clueless-tool, Council President Nieves) should resign, such that the state can step in and navigate the misery that it has invited by its decades of neglect and complicity in facilitating the socioeconomic exploitation and political corruption of this once prosperous and proud city…

    And; when a new Bridgeport is able to be built on the ashes of the old one, the new City leadership promoted will need to include Maria Pereira and others of her ilk that haven’t yet fled this Godforsaken city…

    Good Night, Aidee… (Say “Good Night”, Joe…)

  17. Oh Jeff give it a break with your bloviating garbage 🗑. You and Harvey and a litany of other posters on OIB had a chance to affect real change in Bridgeport yet you choose to run against, excoriate and just not vote for real change in the last mayoral election. Now, Now you want to set on your ass and post a long Soliloquy about what’s wrong with the city and a State take over! How dare you when a change was presented to you in the name of Senator Moore, instead of embracing it you ran a sorry ass campaign against change.

    You got exactly what you wanted and what you voted for by being complicit in maintaining the status quo and you and everyone of you damn fools that didn’t support the candidacy of State Senator Marilyn Moore. Shut up because you Harvey and others in Bridgeport would rather have a known thief, liar and a crook as your mayor than a Black woman who’s character and integrity is beyond reproach. Shut the Fluck up Jeff!

    1. Don, it was Mara Pereira who was the leader of the pack on OIB, that’s all she did to talk against Senator Marilyn Moore, then Harvey started drinking the Kool-Aid and making nothing but negative comments about Senator Moore especially after Senator didn’t get enough signatures to get on the ballot for the general election but nothing was mentioned about Joe Ganim didn’t get enough signatures himself. Senator did something that nobody else had done before and that was to beat Mayor Joe Ganim at the voting polls by over 300 votes in the Democrat primary. After the absentee ballots were counted Joe Ganim won by 270 votes over Senator but there was Maria and Harvey out there dogging Senator Moore and helping Joe Ganim to become mayor. Sure, Moore didn’t run the perfect campaign, there were certain people maybe she could have listen to or she could have asked to run if her but she didn’t, Moore ran a good campaign and not a perfect campaign she did beat Joe Ganim at the ballot box.

      Don, Jeff Kohut didn’t run in the Democrat primary but instead he got on the ballot to run for mayor i the general election for mayor and Jeff got the grand total of “27” votes with Maria supporting Jeff.

  18. Don, once again, how the hell was anyone supposed to vote for Moore when she wasn’t on the ballot??… she quit in Bpt and you’ll never change my mind about that.. if she ran her campaign the proper way and had the signatures in order, she would have been in the ballot and people would have been able to vote for her, including me… find me one instance where I supported the felon?.. you won’t be able to find one, cause it’s not there..

    1. Harvey, you jump right to to step three, step one was getting on the ballot for the primary, step two was running and winning the primary and step three was running in the general election. Ok Marilyn Moore gave up and quit so now what are you going to about Joe Ganim? Harvey, who’s your candidate to save Bridgeport?

    2. Harvey, how is your star Mara Pereira working out for you? She has all the answers and does all of this great research but what is that doing to help move Bridgeport forward, she can’t get anybody to support her on anything, so how’s that working out for you? Maria can’t even run for a citywide elected position because to many voters don’t like her but she’s smart enough to know that so that’s why she ran for the City Council. You like and except her but Marilyn Moore is the devil.

      1. Ron,I voted for Marilyn in the primary,but with the corruption that oozes out of Suburban Ave,she was behind the 8 ball to start…. as far as who I think can “save” Bpt?.. No one…until the swamp is emptied, meaning this administration and all its tentacles,Bpt will be left behind.What developer in his or her right mind would want to do business here??…
        As far as Maria, I know a lot don’t like her style, but if we had more like her, Bpt would be better off.

  19. OK Don; I can see that you really want to bloviate effectively, but you just can’t get up to level on your own… So I’m going to give you a lesson using the bones of your own failed attempt (above): Study this, and examine your own effort to see the many places where it fell short:

    Oh Don give it a break with your bloviating garbage 🗑. You and and a handful of other posters on OIB had no chance to affect real change in Bridgeport, yet you choose to promote unqualified, inept candidates with conflicted agendas. You excoriate honest critics of new, wanna-be, City Hall tools, and just not vote for real, competent change in the last mayoral election — or ever. Now you want to set on your ass and post a long Soliloquy about what’s wrong with critics of incompetence on this (b)log, and promote an inept tool of the old guard as a replacement for the relapsed offender in office! How dare YOU work toward saddling Bridgeport with an inept tool of the suburbs when evidence from her Senate service , as well as her twice-flubbed run for Mayor indicate, to anyone that can read and think, that Senator Moore just isn’t up to being Bridgeport’s mayor. Instead of embracing a considered search for real ability, you ran a sorry ass OIB campaign against rational change.

    You got exactly what you wanted and what you voted for by being complicit in promoting the clueless. Only a damn fool would promote the candidacy of failed/inept State Senator Marilyn Moore. Shut up because you Ron and others in Bridgeport would rather have a tool of the suburbs, albeit an otherwise, nice, but inept person, as your mayor, than someone that puts Bridgeport’s interests in proper regional priority and promotes the City’s interests in Hartford in this regard. Shut the Fluck up Don!


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