Eric Amado Places First On Test For Personnel Director Position

Eric Amado

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.

Nichola Hall.

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.



  1. Everyone that’s surprised that Eric Amado came out number one Stand On Your Head. The political patronage system is alive and well in the Bridgeport Civil Service Office. Damn shame!

  2. I’m in total agreement with Don and Harvey, this is a bad situation for Eric Amado. Eric has no background and experience in running a personnel office, Bridgeport needs and deserves to have someone who has a track record of serving in the position instead of Eric who has only serve as the “Acting” Personnel Director, Amado has been doing double duty as Bridgeport’s personnel director and chief of labor relations. The bad situation for Eric is that he is following into the position of a convicted disgrace felon, David Dunn, who Eric would be replacing who cheated to get Mayor Ganim guy into passing the police chief’s position and now Eric comes out number one in replacing Dunn, things that make you go, hmmmm!

    Out of respect to Carmen and to Andres Eric needs to reject this position, as Harvey said, “This isn’t a knock on Amado,but how can anybody NOT be cynical in this city?? Eric, I’ve heard nothing good things about you but the Personnel Director position is not the position for you to carry the mistrust that the public has about this recent scandal, instead need to serve in the position that you were serving for the city as the “Acting” Labor Relations Director were you have the background and experience in running. Eric, out of respect for yourself do not take the position of the Personnel Director you deserve better.

    1. You’re only mad he scored better than the Black applicant. Heck, extra points should have been given to bilingual (English/Spanish) applicants. I picture Eric Amado saying, “Hold my Coquito” as he proceeded to take the test. I can’t see Amado turning down the position after working his way up. Then again, Ron Mackey has a way of changing people’s minds. Jeff Kohut’s post bellow pretty much sums it up.

  3. There are two well-educated, experienced personnel-management professionals vying for a key Bridgeport city management position. Both, per their resumes, as well as their scores on the position-specific test taken for the position, would appear to be able to hit the ground running and perform at a high level in the sought-after Bridgeport Personnel Director’s position.

    There is obviously a tough choice to be made by the Civil Service Commission in this regard.

    I have never had the good fortune to meet and speak with Nichola Hall, but I have had the good fortune to meet and have dialogue (on several occasions) with Eric Amado. Eric, in the context of his role as an official of both the Finch and Ganim II Administrations, impressed me with his “grounded,” gracious demeanor and his on-the-job pragmatism and efficiency. I feel very comfortable in stating that no Bridgeport City Hall Administration could go wrong in appointing him to any position for which he had appropriate training and experience. Eric certainly has the appropriate training, experience, work-ethic, and demeanor to redeem the Bridgeport Personnel Director’s Office. He knows Bridgeport, and how to ethically and successfully navigate Bridgeport government/politics. And he’s of an appropriate age to assume the responsibilities and stresses of the position. His 11, consecutive years with the City, under two administrations, speak to a dependability and adaptability that is unusual in today’s workplace — especially the stressful environment of the personnel sector of city government.

    If I were on the Civil Service Commission, I would have absolutely no difficulty casting a vote to hire Eric Amado as our new Personnel Director.

    Here, we finally have a situation where there really shouldn’t be any controversy about qualification for a sought after position. The Civil Service Commission really can’t make a “wrong” choice in this appointment situation.

    I wish both candidates the best of luck, while I root for the “Bridgeport kid”…

  4. When Ralph Jacobs, the last qualified Service Director was unceremoniously fired because he wouldn’t let the Mayor’s office dictate Civil Service rules and policies he said, ” He feels as if he was unfairly targeted for failing to allow Finch and his administration to get their way with city personnel.

    “I have to carry out the law. I have to follow the charter. It’s not really a choice, it’s a requirement. So when the mayor wants to do something that violates the law, the charter, I have to tell them they can’t do that.

    Will Eric do that to the man that have already given him two City Department Head Supervisory positions without the benefit of an exam? Don’t answer, that’s rhetorical!

    1. Don, Ralph Jacobs firing is very interesting and when you combine that with the cheating involving David Dunn the former Personnel Director with AJ Perez coming out number one on the police chief exam and Dunn replacement also coming out number one on the Personnel Director leaves some unanswer questions. No one has investigated the running of the Personnel Office, the FBI was only concern with the cheating and the lies wire fraud, nothing about cheating in any other exam or why Dunn decided to help Perez. Then you look at the Ralph Jacobs case and you get a better understanding of corruption and how Attorney Tom Bucci, Jacobs, lawyer bought out in the lawsuit against the city.

      “Jacobs’ Ladder Enters Court, Termination Called Fabrication”

      September 1, 2009 LennieGrimaldi Civil Service,

      What will the firing of Ralph Jacobs cost the city?

      The ousted personnel director has filed a complaint against the Civil Service Commission in Superior Court seeking reinstatement, back pay, associated costs and anything else the court wants to throw in as a result of his termination “solely because the plaintiff had resisted the concerted efforts of the mayor of the city of Bridgeport and his subordinates to circumvent the appointment provisions of the civil service provisions of the charter of the city of Bridgeport.”

      Translation: Jacobs didn’t play ball with Bill Finch to hire the mayor’s political friends. If this gets to trial it will be a doozy. Jacobs’ lawyer former Mayor Tom Bucci who specializes in labor law and employment discrimination will be questioning a bunch of folks under oath about what they knew regarding Jacobs’ resistance to accommodate Finch regarding political hires. This, Bucci alleges in the complaint, is why he was fired noting the fabrication cited by the commission–Jacobs suggesting that a lawyer for a city employee seek arbitration to resolve a labor dispute–was not just cause for termination.

      And what will this cost the city in legal expenses to defend? The city has hired two law firms in connection with dumping Jacobs. Or maybe the city just settles the case? Or maybe the mayor doesn’t care what this costs, he just wants Jacobs out. Jacobs has also filed a grievance pursuant to the union collective bargaining agreement.

  5. In life there are very few instances of genuine do-overs. At least I cannot recall them. But we do have start overs or begin again, where it is important to remember all which has previously happened, especially those who were ’employed’ and therefore were ‘in attendance’.
    Eric Amado has been in an ‘civic employee administrative’ place for about a decade. He has seen how City rules of ‘an acting Director’ have been ignored. He has also observed a Civil Service Commission that was chaired by an out of town resident and voter in contravention of our City rules and who pushed back until finally folding. And finally, as a student of quality labor management practices he watches as labor issues each year become a part of a grievance against the City and often a settlement, that takes Law Department and other administrative time and money that is negative for municipal development.

    I congratulate Eric and Nichola for the high scores they posted and the experience they brought to the exam and application process. Other cities will attempt to poach great talent when they can rather than working at developing their own management. Of course poor practices, such as failure to respect annual management reviews where positive and negative observations may be offered by each party and where a track of what ‘room for improvement’ might mean to one office or its holder, or other forms of corrupt administrative behavior have a deadening effect on ethical behavior and attention to the details of regulation.
    It would be well for employees including department heads to believe that a new era may begin soon. Time will tell.

  6. The former Personnel Director, Ralph Jacobs, the plaintiff had resisted the concerted efforts of the mayor of the City of Bridgeport and his subordinates to circumvent the appointment provisions of the Civil Service provisions of the charter of the city of Bridgeport.” Think about that, the bible of Bridgeport is the city charter, it’s the law in running and managing the city. Bill Finch and Joe Ganim violated the city charter by allowing David Dunn to serve for 12 years as the “Acting” Personnel Director illegally, Eric Amado said nothing about Dunn when Eric was in the Labor Relation office, the civil service commissioners said nothing.

    Ralph Jacobs during his term as the Personnel Director provided the city and the Civil Service Commission a 8 page report of how the circumvent of the appointment provisions of the Civil Service provisions of the charter of the city of Bridgeport. There are a lot of who post on OIB who post about mayors and Mario Testa havig to much power and doing things that they believe are wrong but now is chance to make changes starting with cleaning the Personnel Director Office after all the damage that David Dunn did and placing number and number 2 does absolutely nothing with investigtigating that pffice.

  7. Eric Amado has lived and learned with one “ACTING” Department Director and with whatever lessons were previous to his employment as well as subsequently, part of his branding as a “product of Bridgeport” employment. Would it assist taxpayers in general, or those who specifically note the problems raised and grieved about Bridgeport employment, if he were to disclose a personal commentary on what he hopes to improve in such workings that has been corrupted by failure to follow the rules, failure to call folks to task, and envisioning a better way for all employees at least annually to be reviewed and revalued in turn? What work will he embark upon to make Bridgeport employment more than a job? Rather a place to serve the public to the best of your ability as a matter of duty and pride? Time will tell.


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