City Hires Compliance Officer To Review Procedures Amid Federal Probe Of Missing Cash

A former federal prosecutor will conduct a review of city policies and procedures and recommend corrective action on the heels of two city employees terminated for their roles in turning scrap-metal sales into cash in the Public Facilities Department. Federal investigators have launched a criminal probe into the matter including interviews with city employees and issuing subpoenas for records.

Joseph Jaffe, who oversees regulatory compliance for the New York-based investigative firm Guidepost Solutions, has been retained following the terminations of Deputy Director of Public Facilities Joe Tiago and another department employee Jose DeMoura. They were fired two weeks ago after due process hearings before Labor Relations. Tiago and DeMoura, cousins, were  unionized employees.

What will Jaffe and his team do?

The firm’s role will include a review of city practices and procedures, interface with various city departments such as Finance, Purchasing, Public Facilities as well as the U.S Attorney’s Office investigating the matter.

Ultimately his findings will be shared with the administration and City Council to enact recommended reforms.

Friday night Mayor Joe Ganim echoed a refrain, “This administration has zero tolerance in the breach of the public trust. We need a greater degree of clarity” of what occurred.

Ganim must be particularly sensitive to the nature of this case given his 2003 conviction on public corruption charges. Bridgeport voters returned him to office in a historic second-chance campaign in 2015. He’s seeking another four-year term, with State Senator Marilyn Moore, so far, his chief opponent.

Ganim also reasserted that the practice of scrap metal for cash predated his second administration.

Federal investigators are unpacking the scrap metal sales for cash as well as Tiago’s relationship with local contractor VAZ that has received substantial city work.

Tiago, a restaurateur and former zoning commissioner, has a construction background. He was hired under the Bill Finch administration. In 2014 he sold properties to VAZ that have come under review. The Vaz brothers have a reputation for quality work.

Following Ganim’s return to office in in 2015, Tiago was promoted by Public Facilities Director John Ricci who had a friendship with Tiago.

City Council President Aidee Nieves backs Jaffe’s hire declaring “It helps to clean up some of the practices of the way things have been done and ensure that we have corrective action on standard operating procedures.”

Jaffe’s firm has been hired by City Attorney Christopher Meyer who addressed the potential costs:

“Hopefully we will keep it to a minimum. We negotiated his rate to a maximum rate of $425 per hour. Lesser rates apply to other experts in his firm including project managers and accountants $270 per hour.”

The hourly amount will be drawn from a $75,000 budget line item from the City Attorney’s Office outside legal fees, according to the city.

Jaffe’s background:

Mr. Jaffe has overseen and participated in a host of investigative and fact gathering assignments for foreign governments and state, federal, and private entities related to allegations of employee dishonesty, fraud, sexual harassment, union corruption, inventory and intellectual property theft, prevailing wage violations, corporate compliance and governance, money laundering, construction accidents, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He supervised numerous asset searches and due diligence investigations into the backgrounds of employees, entities and customers for corporations and financial institutions and coordinated litigation support assignments for trial attorneys in civil and criminal cases.

Mr. Jaffe joined Guidepost Solutions in 2012. His extensive background includes serving as District Attorney for Sullivan County, New York; spending seven years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the Official Corruption Section, and Administrative Assistant U.S. Attorney; and serving as an Acting Chief Inspector for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration where he investigated and tried complex business fraud, public corruption, terrorist and bombing cases.



  1. Wow! What an incredible negotiator Chris Meyers is. We are only utilizing taxpayer funds at $450 per hour.
    How many Bridgeport residents make $450 per week?

    Mayor Ganim sounds so ridiculous.

    “Friday night Mayor Joe Ganim echoed a refrain, “This administration has zero tolerance in the breach of the public trust. We need a greater degree of clarity” of what occurred.”

      1. Can I ask why Ed Adam’s, who is being funded by taxpayers at over $90,000 per year, has not been fired?

        Wasn’t he hired to be the Director of the Office of Integrity?

        Taypayers’ have to fund a firm/lawyer out of NY at $450 an hour because a lack of “integrity” has placed Mayor Ganim and City Hall in a quagmire, but the individual employed to ensure that “integrity” reigns in City Hall keeps his $92,000 per year job???

        There is no money for our over 20,000 BPS students, however there is money to hire high paid consultants as political consultants as a part of a propaganda operation to save Mayor Ganim’s butt.

        1. Exactly!! The money for Adams would have been just as useful if it had been tossed in the garbage. The city keeps tossing the cash out though. Someone should look into how much money gets paid to Willinger to write the text amendments for OPED to help Defilippo. (Coming up at next Zoning hearing). I mentioned that over a year ago. If the council had enough honest and diligent members they could stop all of this crap.

    1. Maria Pereira’s and lockharts report on the 3 lots have flaws. Such property Assesments are usually split two ways–the value of land or lot and any structure on it.

      “Tiago, soon after being hired in 2014 by then-Mayor Bill Finch, sold some connected properties to the Vaz family, which opened Seaview Equipment on the site. Tiago, according to municipal records, received $258,786 more than the $586,214 appraised value of the land.”

      The old garage at the corner or Crescent and Seaview Avenue is one I’m very familiar with. Originally, it was a one story structure 2 bay garage with office space on one side. The building was vacant and run down for a while. Sometime in 2014 or 2015 I drove by and noticed construction/ remodeling of the garage. As the weeks passed, I could see that the whole roof was completely remove. It appeared that the height of the ground part was raised. Then it became obvious that the plan was to add another level/floor on top.

      I could have checked the building permit for that location or project and gotten some information on who pulled the permit–Tiago or Vaz. I’m leaving that for Pereira or Lockhart as what they wrote should have been better researched as it could explain the price paid and other questions.
      What they wrote implies that Tiago purchased the three lots and simply resold (flipped them). Did Tiago sell the properties after doing the extensive remodeling and expansion which makes better sense. Pereira must research this as the reputation of fellow Portuguese may have been tainted. CHECK THE BUILDING, ELECTRICAL,PLUMBING, PERMITS PULLED, IF ANY THAT IS.

      1. Well, Joel, if this happened in 2014, why did the property value plummet in the 2015 reval.?

        Adding a floor over a two-bay garage with some office space doesn’t increase the property value by over $250,000.

        1. Maria, as far as the assesment is concerned, it appears as something is very wrong. The lower assesment benefits the owners if their taxes are lower as a result. Keep in mind that when the grand list dropped with property value, the gurus on the council and the mayor raised the mill rate. Years ago, Jim Fox and I had touched on the fact that it appeared that politically connected folks were getting lower Assesments and lower taxes as a result. There improvements done to the garage appears to have double the square footage . It is conceivable that the addition and all other new improvements raised the value. The Feds will take these points into account and I’m sure his attorney will provide some explanation. We still don’t know who pulled the permits or did the work.

  2. Ganim calls in the FBI, now Mr. Jaffe, what horse-shit! Crank up the Joe Ganim Fog Machine,
    Want to find the money? Start by looking into Ganim’s campaigns.
    Mr. Jaffe look into the (pay-2-play) deal at St. Mary’s by the Sea, no bid contract for $470,000 and counting, the so-called Emergency lighting Project! Then check out the WPCA Scam and if you have time the Tax Department!

  3. What a crock of shit this is. Bridgeport you deserves better than this charlatan called Mayor Joe Ganim. They negotiated Mr. Jaffe rate to a maximum rate of $425 per hour. Lesser rates apply to other experts in his firm including project managers and accountants $270 per hour. How many projects managers and accountants are being hired? Let’s just say Mr. Jaffee and two accountants and two project managers amounts to $1530 per hour. Really?

    Mayor Ganim can pay $1530 an hour to clean up something he knew was going on because everyone knew it was going on, but not an extra dime for the education of Bridgeport schools or children. Damn shame.

  4. “This administration has zero tolerance in the breach of the public trust.”\
    Joe,it’s too late,you have the FBI in City Hall subpoenaing the very people you promoted into better jobs on your watch.No one in this city who isn’t on your payroll believes you & Mario didn’t know about all this.We are a poor city that can’t even fund our education budget,people are foreclosing on their houses daily,no developer will chance working with your administration now,small buisnesses open and close up months later,people are afraid to go out at night,crime is rampant etc etc.So now in your desperate attempt at reelection,you hire a firm to “look over city procedures&policies”?? I thought Ed Adams was in charge of this??..
    Joe you’re not fooling anyone,it’s easy to see you’re desperate to get re-elected in November,it’s the only reason you’re wasting our(yes OURS,not YOURS) money on this attempt to distance yourself from the investigation.Stop Joe,how much more do you want from our city??

  5. There are a few more scrap yards, like one that might or might not be on Knowlton ave still that city and boe trucks used to hang out at. My guess is they weren’t there for the fish market down the road. Maybe they parked there and walked to the strip club?

  6. Also where is Mr Rogers in all of this. This should fall under the purview of the Director of Finance to control this type of activity.
    We’re paying $450 an hour for Mr Ed to say this should be controlled by the Finance Director. Watch.

  7. Pay me $450an hour and I’ll straighten out this mess. And whomever paid city workers will be giving the money back to the city.
    This would not have happened under Jerry Barron’s watch that’s for sure.

  8. Why don’t you have your compliance officer look into the stipend account.
    When it became apparent during G1 that the mayor was close to being arrested he came up with taxing the City Council stipend amount for non documented expenses. He said that the council members could provide backup on their taxes.
    Fabrizi became mayor, the practice went away and during Finch and G2 it hasn’t come back.
    What say you Joe? You didn’t think anyone would remember?
    Old rules, new rules, no rules. Can’t keep track of it all? Joe must go.

  9. This is absolutely outrageous. Can the City Council shut down this disgraceful use of BPT tax dollar. Anyway,it’s going to take dollars and a LOT of people to get rid of GanimTesta.

    1. Absolutely NOT, they wouldn’t dare to get involved because if they did the would find themselves in a primary. If Police Chief Perez was given information that Mayor Ganim had some type of involvement he wouldn’t dare say anything to anybody.

  10. Bridgeport seems to be in the Twilight-Zone-level absurd situation of having a municipal administration saturated with lawyers from top-to bottom, most of whom have experience in business, criminal, and municipal law, and yet they have to hire a “compliance expert” for $450/dollar to tell them how to operate ethically and within the rules, regulations, and laws of their city?!!!…

    Something is really, really wrong with this picture… The whole (both), damned executive and legal sections of this Administration should just resign, en masse, in SHAME (and embarrassment)!

  11. *** The city’s hired an expert to help fix the problem of money mis-management & convince the public & State that the Ganim Admin. is on top of the problem of $1. for you & $2 for me type of city financing, no? ***

  12. Think about this, this clown ran around the entire state trying to become governor instead of trying to be the best mayor that he be after getting elected to mayor again after serving 7 years in federal prison. The entire City Council wants no part of knowing what’s going on the FBI investigation, they don’t see anything, they don’t hear anything and they won’t say anything.


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