Gomes, Stallworth, Roach Demoted, Others Reassigned, Staley New CAO

Staley, Ganim
Ganim names Kimberly Staley chief administrative officer.

In a realignment of some key positions in his administration, Mayor Joe Ganim has demoted Chief Administrative Officer John Gomes, placing Kimberly Staley in charge of department heads, demoted State Rep. Charlie Stallworth from the mayor’s office as well as Chief of Staff Danny Roach to special projects coordinator. Newly hired as de facto chief of staff is Christine Bartlett-Josey who served as a Ganim campaign strategist during his 2015 general election comeback. Communications Director Av Harris will shift to director of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs.

Some changes are immediate, others will take place early January. Salary adjustments based on the changes will also take place. Those adjustments are under review, according to a mayoral spokesman.

Ganim signaled a potential reshuffling months ago with his hire of Staley from the corporate world. Initially she reported to Gomes. He will now report to Staley.

The demotions stem from Ganim losing confidence in some of his key hires as well as trying to find a better fit for their respective skill sets.

John Gomes
Chief Administrative Officer John Gomes demoted.

Tensions escalated recently between Ganim and Gomes when Ganim learned two of Gomes’ family members were hired without his sign off, one in the police department, the other in economic development. An argument ensued between the two last week with Ganim questioning Gomes’ administrative judgment. Other Ganim staffers have complained relentlessly that Gomes is heavy handed as an administrator. Gomes’ pay as CAO is $127,555.

Gomes served as an administrator during the early mayoral years of Bill Finch. The two had a falling-out, Gomes was removed from his job, he entered the race for mayor in 2011, but backed out to support Mary-Jane Foster who lost a Democratic primary to Finch. Gomes supported Ganim in his 2015 comeback.

In Stallworth’s East End church, on January 1, 2015, Ganim issued his first public apology on his way to a historic comeback. Stallworth, a leader in the politically active Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, emerged as a high-profile Ganim campaign supporter. Ganim rewarded him with a $100,000-a-year job as special adviser to the mayor heading up the Minority Business Resource Center working out of the mayor’s office.

In the restructuring Stallworth will have a lesser role with less hours, removed from the mayor’s office. As a member of the State House, Stallworth’s city hours would be cut back anyway as he enters a six-month legislative session that starts in early January.

Stallworth, right, during a State House hearing, demoted from city job.

Stallworth recently joined several black political leaders condemning the rank demotion of Lieutenant Lonnie Blackwell who was accused of fabricating a racial letter within the Police Department. Blackwell denies the charges. Stallworth speaking out was seen as a public swipe at Ganim. Stallworth, in frustration, made some internal noise about quitting his city position. Discussions between Stallworth and city officials ensued about staying or going. In lieu of Stallworth leaving the payroll completely, Ganim opted to reduce his role in the administration.

Roach, Black Rock district leader, has been a trusted friend of Ganim for decades. Serving as chief of staff for a mayor is no picnic in Seaside Park. It requires both a political and governmental head to move along the business of the internal office while helping to manage and focus the mayor’s time. His salary is $130,000.

Danny Roach
Danny Roach reassigned.

Ganim, who does not trust easily, places a large premium on loyalty. If he senses a hire has an agenda outside of his loyalty scope he will shut down on them. He may not terminate them but he will reassign to send a message, and maybe they will go away on their own accord.

The hallmark of JG1 was the mayor’s negotiating skills and savvy department heads. Top to bottom Ganim’s current department heads, so far, do not measure up to the successes he achieved during his more than 10-year run during JG1.

Harris has served as communications director for Ganim’s first year back. He’s being shifted to legislative services to focus on rallying more state and federal dollars for the city. Prior to working for Ganim, Harris had extensive experience working in the Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State where he built up many legislative relationships in Hartford key in attracting state dollars.

Official City Hall news release:

Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that he has made several administrative staffing changes in the leadership of Bridgeport’s City Government. The changes–listed below–are the result of a strategic planning process that began in July and continues to take place, evaluating 1) the strengths of each individual in Mayor Ganim’s administration; 2) the best use of available human resources; 3) identifying needs that could be filled by new personnel. There may be other personnel announcements in the near future as the staff reorganization takes further shape.

“Now that my administration has one year in office, this is a good time to take stock of all we have accomplished and determine how best to achieve our future goals,” said Mayor Ganim. “Each of the people I appointed to my administration has given serious time and effort to improving the quality of life of the residents of Bridgeport and I thank them all for their public service. Now is a good opportunity to realign our administration personnel to better realize our vision to bring greater economic development, better public schools, safer neighborhoods and a lower tax burden to this great city. We will also make a serious effort to strengthen Bridgeport as a center of prosperity for our entire region, and we are well poised to make this a reality. I am confident that each of the new appointments I have made will help us get there, and these are changes that work to everyone’s strengths within our organization.”

Kimberly Staley has been promoted from her current position of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer to the post of Acting Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Bridgeport, effective January 3, 2017. Staley grew up in Bridgeport and has extensive private sector and nonprofit experience, primarily in the field of workforce and community development.

John Gomes has been reassigned from the position of Acting Chief Administrative Officer to the post of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, effective January 3, 2017. Gomes will continue to work on cost savings and government efficiency measures, and assist various city department heads.

Dan Roach has been reassigned to the position of Special Projects Manager, effective January 3, 2017. Roach has lead efforts related to the sale of city parkland to Sacred Heart University and the agreement with PSEG to build a $550 Million natural gas power plant, and will continue to work on other major city initiatives.

Christine Bartlett-Josie has been appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of Mayor Ganim, effective December 27, 2016. Bartlett-Josie has extensive government and advocacy experience, including the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office, the Hispanic Health Council and as a political consultant with DNA Campaigns. She worked on the Mayor’s 2015 campaign.

Reverend Dr. Charles Stallworth has been reassigned from his position as special advisor to the Mayor to the post of overseeing the Minority Business Enterprise Office, effective immediately.

Av Harris will shift responsibilities from Director of Communications to Director of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs, effective January 3, 2017.  In his new capacity Harris will be working with Bridgeport’s state and federal Congressional delegations to advance the legislative agenda for the city and serve as chief liaison from the city to state and federal government agencies.

Dalmarys Matos has been appointed to a full-time position as Communications and New Media Specialist in the Mayor’s office. Matos has been a part-time communications assistant since June. Matos, who is also fluent in Spanish, was born and raised in Bridgeport and has worked as a television broadcaster on News 12 Connecticut.



  1. I have known Joe Ganim for years and this is not the Joe Ganim I knew. This Joe Ganim appears to be just going through the motions. Ganim does not have the brightest people around him. During Ganim1 he had Dennis Murphy, Danny Sullivan, John Marsilio and department heads who were qualified. His appointments to date are miserable and in over their collective heads. They include Roach, Stallworth, Gomes and the list goes on. We have a police chief who never met a camera he did not like. We have a fire chief who may not have been the best choice. The question arises, did the two black chiefs get interviewed. The other question is why does Joe spend his nights in Easton.
    Look Joe, if you really want to be mayor fire your staff and put people in there who can get the job done. BTW, fire Gomes.

    1. Andy, sometimes you do get things right, like this one. I’ve heard from a number of people who have said what you did, “they have known Joe Ganim for years and this is not the Joe Ganim they knew. This Joe Ganim appears to be just going through the motions.” I Trust what they are saying because they have nothing to gain because they don’t work for the City and they have known Joe for a long time.

      As for Christine Bartlett-Josie and Kimberly Staley, I wish them nothing but the best but Joe doesn’t have a good record with smart and strong black women but time will tell (JML). As for Danny Roach, I like Danny but he was over his head with that position. As for Reverend Dr. Charles Stallworth, Joe knew he couldn’t just let him go or for Stallworth to quit. Plus Joe knows he can’t piss off the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

      1. Joel, I heard this months ago, in fact not long after she was hired. I was told by several black women who work for the city that he was a short walk from several sexual harassment lawsuits being filed. I don’t know that to be truthful, word on the street is never always right, but it is Never always wrong.

  2. The problem is Joe Ganim and Mario Testa. The people of Bridgeport have a chance at reclaiming THEIR city government with City Council Elections. But NOTHING is happening. Ganim and Testa were good at campaigning but a COMPLETE FAILURE at governing. Ganim has been MIA both mentally and physically. Both just got burned at the latest Board of Education meeting where TESTA’S PET PROJECT Dennis Bradley is down and out and Ganim was at the BOE meeting and Ganim got the rug pulled out from under him literally as he was at the meeting. GANIM IS A MISTAKE. WE ALL KNOW THAT NOW.

    1. “Now is a good opportunity to realign our administration personnel to better realize our vision to bring greater economic development, better public schools, safer neighborhoods and a lower tax burden to this great city.”

      Doesn’t it sound like something you’d hear around election time?

  3. Well, almost speechless. All I will say is John Gomes, I have heard this since his first week in City Hall. (People talk.) Danny Roach, heard about this for months. Rev. Stallworth, I thought the job he was “demoted” to was his position in City Hall for over a year. Av Harris, I think a good call. All the other resumes look impressive. Now do these “demotions” include a cut in pay or is it equivalent to a demotion in the Public School system in Bridgeport where a Principal making over $100,000 keeps their salary teaching a third-grade class? As always, I am glad nobody lost their jobs. Life is good for a chosen few. Rejoice. Thank you all for serving the city.

  4. How is one supposed to interpret this? Do you praise JG for making sweeping changes, even if for dubious reasons, or do you smack him for making such stupid picks to begin with? Who is suddenly benefiting and why do they deserve it? What about the PD Chief who made the hire of Gomes’ kid? Did JG truly not know about it? Does he get whacked? Not hearing anything good about his job performance anyway. OIB indeed!

    1. If the changes are truly in the direction of better governance, i.e. “accountability” to the taxpayer, is it possible for us to understand what was being measured and for how long? Insubordination, competence, failure to act gracefully under pressure, or inability to work for pay? And while skin color and gender have been mentioned above, where do the various staff members live? Are they Bridgeport taxpayers? Time will tell.

  5. If anything, this “new” team (flavor of the month) is weaker than anything else Ganim has had. The new team has no or very little connection to the Bridgeport Community. The distance between the Ganim team and the Bridgeport Community widens even more. Ganim is even more out of touch.

  6. What do all these people do? There’s absolutely nothing going on in this city development-wise, yet we have an entire army of unqualified people in City Hall sitting around earning six-figure salaries. It’s disgusting and the overtaxed homeowners pay the burden. When was the last time we’ve heard any new proposals that any of these overpaid political hacks have come up with? It’s really sad.

  7. It looks like it’s going to be a very Merry Christmas after all!

    I attended what was billed as a BPS Christmas Concert at 45 Lyon Terrace this evening. It turned out it was a “SURPRISE” tribute for Fran Rabinowitz.

    Once you deducted the WHHS drum corps, choir, the staff band and her family, there were only 27 staff, parents, and community members present.

    We have almost 30,000 parents and 3,000 BOE employees. Enough said.

  8. Don’t panic. Panic, while generally a destructive emotion, has a way of drawing you in, especially if everyone around you is anxious and uneasy. However, panicking will do nothing to help you survive. Indeed, sounding the alarm, whether you’re telling yourself or others the end is near, will only aggravate an already tense situation and will possibly put you in an unfavorable position that is dangerously close to the exit door. Try to stay calm. Take deep breaths and keep your cool.
    Keep all channels of communication open. Information is key when it comes to surviving a City shake-up. Intelligence gathering should occur every day and your sources should come from all areas of the city. The more you know, the better. Remember, though, to verify your research. A shake-up often leads to panic, which feeds on misinformation. Maintain an open mind. The worst thing about a city shake-up is the unknown. Who’s going to survive and what will be left? Is the city on the verge of bankruptcy? Are you going to have to move? What about the raise you expected? These are all normal questions to ask during a shake-up. Sometimes, however, the unknown can result in unexpectedly positive outcomes. A different but more interesting job. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive attitude. Your cynical colleagues may glare or shake their heads, but ultimately you are the one who must take care of yourself.

  9. There are a few other characters in the mayor’s office. Wilbur Chapman $6K per month, Ed Adams former FBI $6K per month. Just what do these two do anyway?
    We have Chief Perez who never met a camera he did not like. When are we going to look for a new chief?
    Let’s go to civil service where an unqualified individual is in charge. So we advertise for this job also. Now we fire John Gomes. This prick is going after career employeees then gets his daughter a job without telling the mayor, a sure sign of disrespect.


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