Deputy City Attorney Advises City Council On Mayoral Appointment Authority For Police Chief

September 16, 2020

Statement from City Council President Aidee Nieves on the appointment of Rebeca Garcia as Acting Chief:

Having read the relevant sections of the City Charter and having consulted with the Office of the City Attorney, the Mayor’s authority to appoint Rebecca Garcia as Acting Chief is very clear. I look forward to working with her during the term of her appointment and I look forward to working closely with my Council colleagues and the Mayor on a fair, transparent process for hiring a permanent Police Chief. Furthermore, I strongly encourage the Acting Personnel Director and the members of the Civil Service Commission to begin preparations for a nationwide process to select a permanent Chief that incorporates public input and will give the public confidence in the final selection.



    1. Ron, City Hall issued this statement today:

      Bridgeport officials announced today that Director of Labor Relations, Eric Amado will now oversee both Labor Relations and Civil Service Departments. This appointment was approved by the Civil Service Commission at their monthly meeting held on September 15, 2020, at 2:00 pm.

      Eric Amado has served the city and employees as a Human Resources Administrator, Supervisor in the Labor Relations, and the Civil Service Departments since 2011. He is a lifelong resident of Bridgeport with many ties to the local community with supporting roles with non-profit organizations.

  1. In other words .. NOTHING is going to happen in terms of naming a Permanent (5 years per Charter) in the short term. Only judicial action will force Ganim’s hand. Like I’ve been saying ,Rebecca Garcia will remain ACTING Police Chief through JG3 and any previous discussion about the last previous Chief of Police Exam is a waste if time unless that discussion is changed by a decision by a judge. I have nothing else to say.

  2. I am amazed with the creative interpretation of law from our attorney’s office to allow the mayor to make such moves. Let me address the letter 1st. They skipped all the way down to Provision #7 of the City Charter which YES, allows the mayor such latitude to appoint an acting chief IF AND ONLY IF a certified list DOES NOT EXIST. Meaning Civil Service would go through a new police chief search and during that time Garcia acts as “Acting Chief”.

    What City Council is stating, is we know a list “DOES EXIST”. So why are we wasting time/taxpayor money and not appointing a “PERMANENT CHIEF” which is clear as day in the charter starting with Provision #3. So technically, Attorney Bohannan is Right, but it’s a partial truth. I don’t understand how you can skip to provision #7 and Bypass provision #3.

    Section 4. – Chief of Police.

    (a)The head of the department shall be a Chief of Police selected pursuant to the provisions of this section.

    (b)The chief of police shall be in the classified service and be selected pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 17 of the charter except as follows:

    (1)The chief of police shall, at a minimum, be experienced in urban law enforcement, including supervisory experience in the operations and management of a law enforcement agency. Nothing in this Section shall preclude the civil service commission from establishing greater qualifications for the position of chief of police, provided that such qualifications shall not include a requirement of prior service on the Bridgeport Police Department. Any qualification so adopted shall be based solely on the knowledge, skills and experience required for the position and not on the attainment of any rank or ranks.

    (2)The examination for the position of Chief of police shall be open to any person possessing the minimum qualifications established for such position regardless of whether the applicant is currently or has ever been an employee of the city of Bridgeport. The examination shall be open and competitive and shall not be promotional.

    (3)Whenever a vacancy arises in the position of chief of police, the personnel director shall, upon request, certify to the mayor the names of the three (3) candidates standing highest upon the employment list for such position. If no such list exists, the personnel director shall, within 150 days of the request, hold a test for such position and shall, upon the establishment of an employment list, certify to the mayor the names of the three persons standing highest thereon.

    (4)Within sixty (60) days of receipt of the certification required by subSection (a)(3) of this section, the mayor shall appoint one (1) of the persons so certified as the Chief of police and shall notify the Civil Service Commission and the Board of Police Commissioners of such appointment. The mayor may designate the time when such appointment shall take effect, provided it shall not be more than ninety (90) days from the date of his receipt of the personnel director’s certification. Unless otherwise stated such appointment shall be effective immediately. In the event that the mayor fails to appoint a chief of police within sixty days of receipt of said certification, the board of police commissioners shall, forthwith, make such appointment.

    (5)The person so appointed shall hold office for a term of five (5) years from the effective date of his appointment but may be removed for just cause. A person holding the position of Chief of police may, only within 150 days of the end of each term, be reappointed by the mayor for one additional term of five (5) years, effective upon the expiration of the chief’s current term, without the need for further examination or testing. Not later than 180 days prior to the expiration of such term the board of police commissioners shall, by majority vote, advise the mayor whether the chief should be reappointed and shall specify the reasons for its recommendation. The vote and advise of the board of police commissioners shall be advisory only and is not binding.

    (6)Any provisions of this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, no person shall serve as chief of police for more than ten (10) years not including any time served in an acting capacity.

    (7)Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of Chief of police, the mayor may appoint a member of the Bridgeport Police Department as the acting Chief of police. The person so appointed shall possess all of the qualifications established for the position of Chief of police. Any provision of this charter to the contrary notwithstanding, the person so appointed may serve as acting Chief of police until the position is filled as provided in this section.

    1. Because more than likely that test is invalid because of the action taken by Randi Frank testing company. You need to read what it states about “Acting’ and who and how long someone can be in a “Acting” position.

      1. Bro. It’s clear in the Charter, Within 150 days (5months) you have initiate a new police chief search and then extend permanent chief to one of those top 3.

        The list is supposed to be good for 2 years. It’s good till about Oct. 19, 2020

        With all the crap going on, why would Joe put us under any more scrutiny, just offer the job to one of the other 3 that placed on that list. That’s all CC is requesting. This letter is stupid. It’s obvious he can appoint an “Acting Cheif” By why appoint here when her position is already in Court for it’s legitimacy. The city is currently being sued over her ASST Chief position, smh

    2. Move to the side Coronal Sanders. Thanks for the laughs I had every time I saw your lawn sign. They made me hungry for some KFC.

      Let’s look at the charter language closely.

      We all can agree this is an unusual situation:
      “(3)Whenever a vacancy arises in the position of chief of police, the personnel director shall, upon request… Lets stop here. Didn’t the Personnel Director get arrested and resigned the Next day? How in hell was the mayor going to make such request to the personnel director? Keep in mind that the language call for director not acting director and there wasn’t a deputy director.

      THE END

  3. Shocking!,the city Attorney supports Joe’s moves.And now the “outrage” the members of the CC had over the weekend has turned to “I look forward to working with her during the term of her appointment”..And now the council will sit and wait for more direction from Joe…Back to discussing the Columbus Statue!

  4. Notice that the charter states “the personnel director shall UPON REQUEST”.
    So I guess if the mayor doesn’t REQUEST such a list then the clock does not start ticking.
    Well, isn’t that special.

  5. Bob, Ralph Jacobs was fired from the Personnel Director position in 2009 and replace with David Dunn and Dunn had been in that position until the other day. They knew exactly what they were doing, the entire City Attorney Office knew that the City Charter was being violated and they did nothing.

  6. The test counts until 10-18, if Ganim keeps Garcia “acting” chief past that the new “acting” head of civil service can give her the test answers and Joe can give her a 5 year contract.
    That being said just do the right thing and give Porter the job already, why would the new State Capitol Police Chief want to come to this mess.

  7. Jesus people. 🙂

    I am shocked to her hear Maria and other council members, along with city activists calling on Joe to remove (Acting) Chief Garcia and replace her with one of the finalist candidates in a process that was flawed and corrupt. How can you, on one hand, call for the resignation of Chief Parez after his arrest for that vary process to acquire the 3 finalists, yet on the other hand, demand Joe appoint someone from that to very same corrupt process and list?
    This is not a flashlight people. 🙂

    P.S something (along with the integrity at that new conference held at BPD headquarter) is not adding up. Asians make up 60% of the world’s population. 🙂

    1. You make a valid argument.

      Do you have any proof that Cassonova, Porter, or Nardozzi participated or were part of the rigged process? If no, they were denied an opportunity and went thru a pretty rigorous process for 3 months. They met qualifications. Cassonova was #1, he proved his worth being #1 again in the Capital Police search on Hartford. He was offered that job and took it.

      At this point, those 3 will probably being suing Bridgeport Next. Nardozzi won a different case against us just last year.

      1. The process was corrupted, two people got arrested, cops were involved. That is for certain. Can you say for certain that others did not get wind of some information? That is a better question?

        So you are and others are basically saying, let’s keep a corrupt process that generated that final list, that officers were involved in, where two people got arrested, and there are others involved, Knowen, and unknown in the complaint, who are also involved in this corrupt process.

        Again Port politics is not about integrity or doing away with corruption, or what is right, as long as that corruption goes my way.

        That press conference proved that. They want to keep a (Known) corrupt process to appoint a person you want. It actually it is no different than when AJ was appointed.

        P.S It was rigged and someone was denied on spoke who when throutgh that process be is was set for AJ. And you can’t be for certain Porter, who is the only choice at this point, didn’t get wind of information that works in the same department as AJ either. JS

        You and whoever are wrong on this if you want to keep a corrupt process. Sorry.

  8. Give Porter the job already.
    The process was rig for AJ. You cannot rig it for two people.
    Get on with it Joe. If you don’t everyone will say you are doing it again. Please, for the good of the city. For the good of BPD. Just name Porter and let’s turn the corner.

  9. Mr. Walsh,
    Give Porter the job already? How do we know that Porter wasn’t also a beneficiary of the rigged test. Could he have been picked as a top three finalist as token for the racial incident with Captain Straubel. The answer is we will never know but in Bridgeport anything is possible.

    There is no standing list. As Mr. Mackey stated the process was flawed (actually rigged) so how can the list be valid. The prudent thing to do would first would be to find a permanent Civil Service Director and then begin the process of a nationwide search for the permanent Chief of Police position. Having worked for the City of Bridgeport and seeing how the City tends to drag their feet when it comes to holding promotional exams in a timely manner, my guess is that rather then do what is best for the taxpayers of Bridgeport these processes will just drag on for some time. In the end the losers of all of this will be the taxpayers of Bridgeport who continue to elect incompetent and corrupt individuals into office.

  10. Donald Day, Bob Walsh, Frank Gyure and Kelvin Ayala, I’ve made a number replies and comments to each of you guys that might seem like I was in disagreement or challenging your post. Each one of you were addressing to appointment of Rebecca Garcia as Acting Chief and the charter that Garcia was not qualified. My post were not really dealing with Garcia and Acting because John Bohannon, the Deputy City Attorney, knows better and that Garcia could only be the Acting Chief for only a few days.

    The points that I was addressing was about the exam it self and if it was a valid exam and how much damage has David Dunn has done to the entire Civil Service system and testing and how far has that damage has effected hiring. Also, I’m troubled with Randi Frank’s testing company because they have no record of giving non discriminatory exams with a city that has the racial make up of cities like Bridgeport. Whether or not the exam is valid no way is Garcia qualified to be appointed as the Acting Police Chief. Don, Bob, Frank and Kelvin you guys were right on target.

    1. Until the court makes a decision on the exam the hiring list is still active and the top three candidates on the hiring list, Luiz Casanova, Captain Roderick Porter and who ever placed number four on the list are the only persons eligible for the position.


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