Acting Personnel Director Eric Amado has placed first in the competitive examination to select a permanent applicant to oversee Civil Service, a process managed by the executive search firm retained by the city CPS HR Consulting.
Amado has been doing double duty as Bridgeport’s personnel director and chief of labor relations.
The city is expected to formally announce Amado’s selection within the next week or so assuming it comes to employment terms with him.
The Civil Service Commission is the appointing authority. If the city cannot come to terms with Amado under the guidelines of the selection process the job shall be offered to the number two candidate on the list, human resources professional Nichola Hall, recently departed deputy director of the Board of Education’s Food and Nutrition Services. Hall recently left school board service to accept a position as chief human resources officer for another school district.
The personnel office is where municipal payroll is processed, outside the education system, as well as competitive examinations for classified positions within government. Labor relations handles negotiations of union contracts, labor disputes and employee conflicts. Amado has worked in both departments.
Amado was slotted into the personnel role by the Civil Service Commission in September 2020 following the federal arrest and subsequent resignation of David Dunn who conspired with then Police Chief Armando Perez to wire the police chief test in his favor.
Under a schedule the city released six weeks ago, once the permanent personnel director position is filled the next step will be conducting a national search for police chief to fill the acting position maintained by Rebeca Garcia.
Sources familiar with the testing process maintain Amado’s experience on the job for the past 13 months provided valuable understanding of the role. He is also is not a stranger to the personnel office having worked there as a personnel assistant for three years in a prior role.
Preference points were applied to city residents. Both Amado and Hall reside in the city. Amado is well liked by his colleagues in City Hall.
Amado is the son of Carmen Colon, a city political activist and long-term official with the Bridgeport YMCA. To cynical political observers the knee-jerk response would be he got there because of political connections.
His resume shows, however, he has labored his way through the bureaucratic process, picking up on-the-job experience.
He has been a city employee since September 2011, according to his background provided by the city, working his way up through the ranks of management.
Colon was a forthright supporter of two-term Mayor Bill Finch who was defeated by Joe Ganim in a September 2015 primary. Amado remained on the payroll as Ganim brought in new faces to fill key government positions.
Amado, 32, graduated from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He also graduated locally from Fairfield Prep.
Hall has become an active presence in the city the past several years. She is the co-founder of the Ed Gomes Black Democratic Club in honor of the late state senator and also serves on the board of the regional NAACP as well as coaching basketball for city middle school students.
Hired by former school chief Aresta Johnson, Hall had previously served as Human Resources Director of the Adult and Continuing Education for the New York City Department of Education as well as director of Office of School Food, according to her resume.
She has a Masters in Business Administration focused on human resources from South University in Savannah, Georgia. She is currently enrolled in the doctorate program for organizational leadership at Walden University.
Personnel Director qualifications from the City Charter:
The civil service commission shall appoint a personnel director and such examiners, investigators, clerks and other assistants as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act. Such persons, including the personnel director, shall be subject to the civil service laws. The personnel director shall be a person thoroughly in sympathy with the application of merit and sound business principles in the administration of personnel; shall be thoroughly familiar with the principles and methods of personnel administration and skilled therein and shall have had at least three years of successful experience as director or assistant director in the administration of an employment system involving at least five hundred positions or employees. He/she shall direct and supervise the administrative work of the personnel bureau and perform such other functions as may be required of him/her by the civil service commission.
The position of Personnel director of the city of Bridgeport, established under the provisions of the charter is included in the competitive division of the classified service created under said act, as amended.