Will Finch Reappoint Chief Gaudett Or Allow Ganim His Choice?

Gaudett, Finch
Gaudett and Finch in December 2010. CT Post photo Christian Abraham.

Could Mayor Bill Finch, just a few weeks from leaving office, reappoint Police Chief Joe Gaudett to another five-year contract? That is something Finch is considering. Mayor-elect Joe Ganim wants him to hold off.

From the Bridgeport City Charter regarding police chief:

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.

Gaudett is not popular with some rank and file city police officers, especially those who actively supported Ganim for mayor including police union chief Chuck Paris. Ganim has called upon Finch to avoid major decisions as he fills out his final days that ends Nov. 30.

Finch appointed Gaudett to his first five-year contract  in December of 2010. It expires this December 19. Under a City Charter change approved by voters about 25 years ago the police chief can serve at the appointment of the mayor for up to two five-year terms. Finch could cite the charter language “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.”

Ganim would prefer Finch hold off on appointing Gaudett so that he could name his own chief to a five-year deal following a search. He has stated that he’s not inclined to reappoint Gaudett given the choice. If Finch does not act on Gaudett one possibility for Ganim is appointing Captain A.J. Perez on an acting basis. Ganim and Perez are close going back to his first tenure as mayor.

So should Finch reappoint Gaudett or allow Ganim to choose his own chief?



  1. Given Finch’s reputation for spite and vindictiveness it wouldn’t be surprising if he did reappoint Gaudett. That would put Ganim in a sticky spot: Do I keep this retard on the payroll or do I ask the City Council to buy out his contract?

  2. Personally, I think it would be respectful to allow the Mayor-elect to choose his own candidate. I am not naive about paybacks and patronage. Should Mayor Finch make Chief Gaudett a priority on his way out the door would not endear anyone to him. I am not so sure if A.J. Perez is the perfect choice For an interim chief or not, but I do believe the incoming Mayor deserves to make his own choice. This is not making an appointment of a low-level job. This is a top cabinet position and Ganim deserves to choose his own.

  3. No, the chief just like the officers can live anywhere, up to 25 miles away. If Finch loves this city like he says then he wouldn’t hand Mayor Ganim this liability just to have the City waste its money to buy out his contract or force Mayor Ganim to have him in a position with no power or authority to move without the Mayor’s approval. Either scenario is a lose/lose for the city and its residents.

  4. Not too sure what the Chief’s current contract says but if it needs to be amended for the next term, the council has a chance to intercede. They could insert language that says the chief must live in BRIDGEPORT. I disagree with Mr. Day on his interpretation and I believe the city can enforce residency on the chief.
    Secondly, I believe the contract can prohibit the chief from collecting a pension and salary at the same time.
    These changes might make the job less attractive to Gaudett but they would also have the same impact on Perez.

  5. Bob, state law says fire and police can live 25 miles from the city in which they work. Having said that, the City can certainly put in his contract as a condition of employment that he had to move to the city after signing his new contract. Hartford has a policy that department heads as a condition of employment must move to that city six months after appointment, which would be in Bridgeport’s best interest if they had a similar policy.

  6. Very sad that Finch is going out as bitter and angry as he is. He seems to be blaming Joe Ganim for his defeat, when in reality he has no one to blame but himself and his campaign people.

    1. The bitterness and blaming will be forgotten, what won’t be are the things that get documented. What appointments or contractual issues he deals with, in these final days and how he deals with them will have a reference point anyone interested can find. I don’t think he wants to be remembered as vindictive.

  7. Gaudett is the most incompetent and embarrassing Chief in Bridgeport history. Read today’s Post about $30K missing in the PD. Add to that all the anonymous letters disseminated on his watch, as well as the crime rate rising and tell how Finch can do this to the taxpayer. Finch would be beyond toxic in this city if he reappointed this clown! The taxpayer would be on the hook once Ganim rids the city of Chief Fife.

    1. Joseph P. Ganim deserves more than a little credit for shaming the mayor and the chief of police into making an effort to stanch the rising tide of violence. He did it for political gain to be sure but everyone and his mother knows the gun buyback program was a crock of shit. After the last two there was a spate of shootings, a few of them fatal.

      Gaudett paid lip service to the racist letters circulating in the department. This is 2015 in Connecticut; Gaudett acts like a cracker sheriff from Mississippi. Someone give that redneck a plug of chewing tobacco.

  8. It’s been reported $30K is missing from the evidence locker. It is also being reported guns? taken in as evidence are missing.
    The article goes on to state the policy has been to assign police officers who are under investigation or who have drug problems to the evidence room. It is obvious the chief and his four deputies have been derelict in their duties and that includes the head of the DB.
    It may be time for an outside professional company that specializes in looking into department policy and practices to be hired. It seem what we are now doing does not work. BTW the public has a right to know what is going on in the PD, also what are the brain-dead police commissioners doing? I know, nothing!!!

  9. The whole “Finch Enchilada” must go! Directors, Deputy Directors, Department Heads and various Foremen and Supervisors who have shown to be corrupt themselves. Violating Municipal, State and Federal laws. Along with the personal rights of employees. YOU know who you are! Sixteen more days! Try to enjoy them.

  10. In March 2013, Devone, 65, was arrested by State Police and charged with interfering with an officer and custodial interference after being accused of blocking state police efforts to return his 3-year-old grandson to the boy’s mother even though she had two orders from a Georgia court and one from a local judge to return the boy to Georgia.

    Devone was later granted accelerated rehabilitation, a pretrial probation program. He was there in 2013.
    He is now on disabled leave and could not be reached for comment.

    Why is this guy still on the job? At 65 he could not catch a cold. Why is he on disabled leave? What did he get, a paper cut? It’s time to take a good look at the PD and its managers.


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