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Nardozzi: Pay Me Or I’ll Sue

April 18th, 2016 · 26 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Law Enforcement, News and Events

James Nardozzi

James Nardozzi

James Nardozzi was brought in as assistant chief to reel in police overtime under Mayor Bill Finch. He appeared to do that for a while, did not endear himself to some police officers who supported Joe Ganim for mayor and then found himself out of a job during a reorganization of the department. He wants his job back. If not, he’ll sue the city.

More from CT Post reporter Dan Tepfer.

Nardozzi was fired from his $123,000 job in January by Mayor Joseph Ganim under a reorganization of the Bridgeport Police Department that saw then-Chief Joe Gaudett retire and Armando Perez take his place as the city’s top cop.

“Mr. Nardozzi is demanding to remain on the city payroll collecting his full salary, until the end of his employment contract; maintain health and other benefits provided by the city; and at the expiration of his contract, be allowed to retire and collect a pension per the terms of his employment contract. In the alternative Mr. Nardozzi would be willing to accept a settlement of one million dollars from the city,” states a letter Brown sent to the city’s Civil Service Commission and the labor relations office.

Full story here.

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26 Comments so far ↓

  • Phil Smith

    I was wondering why he went so quietly.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Not too many choices if he has a contract that guarantees his employment at a given salary with specified benefits. Put him on patrol on weekends to help bring down the OT. Let him run out his contract by helping to fill the depleted patrol ranks.

  • Godiva2011

    Cut and tried case. The city violated his contract, no due process, etc. These politically inspired terminations are going to cost the City some hefty payouts. Open your wallets, Bridgeporters. Next case.

  • The Phantom

    This piece of excrement’s contract was as an “at will” employee after one year. He basically worked with no contract after the first year. He was lucky to have been hired by Bridgeport as no one in Finch’s even bothered to conduct a background check on him. Just Google his name and see all the dirt that pops up pre-Bridgeport. Just another greedy individual who always claimed he wanted to save the taxpayer. My, how things have changed. Now he wants to rip off the taxpayer.

    • Ron Mackey

      The Phantom, a contract that expires is still good until a new contract comes into effect to replace the old contract that expired and all sides come to an agreement.

      • The Phantom

        The individual had no language in his contract that spoke to renewal or the like. He was rightfully at the mercy of the city and essentially a contractor. Although Finch never checked his background, he was smart enough to have his contract mean zero, should he want to get rid of him.

        • Ron Mackey

          The Phantom, by law the old contract is still in force.

          • The Phantom

            Google “at-will employee.” All results say you can be dismissed for any reason without just cause and without warning.

        • Zena Lu

          Why was his background never checked? This is an Assistant Police Chief for the love of God. That is just downright negligent. Where was the Labor Relations department in this hiring? Where was Civil Service? Were standards we set for our rank and file hiring circumvented because this bottom-feeder was a subcontractor? How did this particular hiring process work?

          Infuriating.

          • Donald Day

            Zena, Labor Relations, like Civil Service, was in the pocket of Mayor Finch by way of Tom McCarthy and David Dunn. Finch said he wanted him and both McCarthy and Dunn said we’ll do whatever you want because they both were in positions neither was qualified for and that paid in excess of $100,000 per year. Now the question isn’t why did they do this, but instead why would Joe Ganim embrace these two self-serving fools to the detriment of the city?

          • BARF

            Where was Civil Service? HA! Civil Service is gone.

          • Zena Lu

            I don’t see where Ganim embraced McCarthy. On the contrary, I see McCarthy is history in Labor Relations in Bridgeport. Dunn, well I am not qualified to speak to his suitableness for his job. You probably are, though.

            I address things from a process standpoint and this particular process appears to have been nonexistent.

            Our former Mayor did not consider the common taxpayer in his decision-making process. He is a self-centered shyster. He views life through the lens of a narcissist, so he actively seeks other narcissists. He sees things as HE IS, not how they really are. He hired folks like himself. It really is that simple.

  • Phil Smith

    This one could end up being a legal quagmire.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Phil Smith,
    You are a bright and knowing City watchdog. Thank goodness. Civil Service is a department where too much of the labor hi-jinks, grievances, anomalies, etc. happens.
    What has Ganim2 done differently in the $560 Million proposed budget to enhance Civil Service ability to test leadership, process applications from the most qualified, and cease creating unnecessary controversies? Is it possible? Time will tell.

    • Ron Mackey

      John Marshall Lee, Joe Ganim knew better than anybody, any other person running for mayor in modern times, because he was the mayor. After a decade he knew the problem with Labor Relations and Civil Service Commission and the Personnel Director and Ganim still hasn’t done anything about making changes.

    • Phil Smith

      Because they are now doing what he wants them to do.

    • Phil Smith

      JML,
      I don’t see any change for the better. Indeed, the proposed budget does not include funding for civil service exams for either the chief of police or the personnel director, both of which are required by the city charter. I wish I could say I’m surprised.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Phil,
    If Mayor Ganim has made no fiscal provision for testing in critical leadership positions that were also wanting in the Finch years,

    If Mayor Ganim’s budget crafters have left important info and explanations missing from some Department 2017 summaries like the Police Department, for instance,

    If his total budget soars because of an understaffed Police Department that requires use of overtime and an overstuffed funding schedule for future retirement benefits,

    If the Mayor said nothing about the “fiscal drivers” in the budget in his State of the City announcement to the BRBC on March 3 or since, and has produced no REVISED Table of Organization for the City Council to compare and contrast proposed employment levels,

    Is Mayor Ganim practicing OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST governance? Are we having a problem, Houston? Did I miss something the Mayor announced already? Time will tell.

  • Mojo

    *** I thought the guy was doing just fine cutting the fat, etc. at the Police Dept. Pay the man or hire him back because he’s needed. ***

    • John Marshall Lee

      Mojo,
      No doubt people have been cut, including conscious competent folks with adequate education and good motivation doing their jobs as directed. However, after all of the cuts, there have been hires.
      And there is a budget that shows only FILLED and VACANT. It ignored other useful categories like UNFILLED or NEW that were formerly used. So where are we?
      Well if you look at the Police Department budget you will note there are no personnel reported under Police Administration. Funny, because that is where you might expect to see a Chief, and some high level underchiefs at least, but no personnel listed. In the other nine department classifications (Patrol, Detective, Narcotics&Vice, unassigned, etc.) you will find a total of 478 Filled and 18 Vacant. But that cannot be right, because there are not 496 checks going out to active police department employees.
      So what do the budget numbers mean? The administration continues to hide things from the taxpayers. Simple. Who is around to investigate and press for more facts? Where is the integrity of our government or its employees on display? Time will tell.

  • Dave Walker

    Nardozzi wants to sue the City for $1 million?! He should be ashamed of himself. Doesn’t he know the City is broke and excessive police overtime is a contributing factor both directly and via additional pension costs?

    • Phil Smith

      Given this administration’s track record on personnel matters you are justifiably concerned about the impact of those actions on the city budget. But the suggestion the result would somehow be Chief Nardozzi’s fault is, frankly, illogical. If a court finds the city has acted improperly and awards damages, the responsibility rests with city officials and not the employee.

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Mr. Walker, all the city needed to do was honor his contract. Instead we fired him. Should all the employees quit and start working for minimum wage? The police department is below staffing because of Finch, Osborne and the president of the police union.

  • Godiva2011

    Mr. Walker, it puzzles me why a seemingly intelligent man such as yourself thinks Nardozzi should be ashamed of himself. If anything, the City should be ashamed. He was hired to cut back on police overtime. Seemingly he was fired from his job for doing his job, which of course garnered him the ire of the police union. Violation of contract, no probable cause and no due process, just handed walking papers even in spite of the fact a new person hired by Ganim to oversee that department complimented his performance. Seemingly, he was fired as part of the deal Ganim cut with the police union to get their support. It’s a clear-cut case of political revenge and he has every right to sue. How would you like it if you were discharged from your job under these circumstances? Would you turn the other cheek? I highly doubt it. Just an educated guess on my part, he will win this case should he take it to court, and you as a Bridgeport taxpayer will pay for the irresponsible decision made by the administration.

  • Dave Walker

    Check out police overtime. Was it under control? How many Deputy Chiefs of Police do you need for a City as small as Bridgeport? It’s time to quit playing games and get serious about putting the City’s finances in order.

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