Eric Amado is doing double duty these days as Bridgeport’s personnel director and chief of labor relations.
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.
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. He has worked in both departments.
A member of the Democratic Town Committee, Amado was almost everyone’s first pick to be the candidate to fill Connecticut’s 130th State House seat after the passing of Ezequiel Santiago in March 2019. He turned down the entreaties. Antonio Felipe won the special election and then a full two-year term on Tuesday.
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. Okay, let’s assume that, but as his resume shows he has labored his way through the bureaucratic process, picking up on-the-job experience.
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 new faces to fill key government positions.
Amado, 31, graduated from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He also graduated locally from Fairfield Prep.
Unclear how long Amado will be doing joint duty, but he’s universally liked and respected in City Hall, a persona not easy to find. Still, critics in the OIB comments section wonder about his background and credentials to hold down both positions.
Following the resignation of long-time Personnel Director David Dunn after his federal arrest for helping AJ Perez rig the 2018 police chief examination, Amado was elevated to the position by the Civil Service Commission in September.
See his background below:
Lennie, thanks for the information Eric Amado. My concrn is that Eric Amado being setup for failure. Mayor Ganim failure to have a permanent Labor Relation Director in place. There are 13 City unions and Labor Relation is required to negotiate all of those contracts and the Personnel Director is require to give all city testing for hiring and promotion that are in the City Charter and to research testing companies that gives those exams there is NO WAY IN HELL that anyone can do both of these positions at the same time. None of this is Eric Amado fault but it’s Eric Amado duty to perform these two positions at the same time, it’s a setup.
*** Its a sink or swim political minded job, that knowing & remembering the come & go positions @ City Hall, only time will tell? ***
Great article revealing much information about someone with formal education, lots of skill training, and a personal dedication to improve municipal operations by living up to rules, laws, formal processes, etc. And so at the moment Eric Amado has been asked to supervise both Labor Relations, as before, but also Civil Service.
One major issue that caught up with Dave Dunn, and others, was the testing for positions within a relatively short monthly timeline. Mr. Dunn, and whomever he reported to allowed that period to continue for a decade too long? Why? Is it fair to guess that his work was reviewed and graded each year? Did no Mayor or CAO call his attention to his responsibility? Why did he think he was special in ignoring an obligation?
While Eric Amado is wearing two hats in this temporary situation, to whom does he report? Is the Mayor part of the management hierarchy? How is that righteous when he has retained legal counsel for the matter before Federal investigation and a Grand Jury? Can the City get on with future reviews and tests without downgrading our municipal standards, without doing our best to employ City residents with full skills and dedicated competency? For ten years I have spoken to four governance values in Bridgeport that need reversal: OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST actions. Where do you see Ganim2 using such behavior on routine government matters, as educator to the voters; by opening up question and answer opportunities to citizens, especially neighborhoods where too many have seen their formal education stop before completing high school without a degree, and therefore turn away from following civic matters and offering an opinion on fiscal matters? Is Covid19 Ganim2’s most skilled area of competency? Or just the one he can be most regularly seen on? Why is Joe so quiet about his favorite Police Chief of recent years, though retired these days, and has nothing to say about Acting Department Head Dunn, also retired, and due to spend one or more years behind bars? Time will tell.
JML, as for testing David Dunn did not follow the City Charter, charter states that the funding for the City to pay testing, not maybe or sometime later but that it “shall.” Dunn didn’t follow the charter on giving test in a timely time frame because it help the mayor by saving money and the result from not giving those exams made department heads to make the shortage of those working in higher position to use “acting” and “provisonal,” because it was cheater to pay for overtime and for “acting” and “provisonal” plus not paying for insurance and health benefits for newly hired employees. The city unions didn’t challenge anything because their members would make money without taking a test. It’s the mayor responsibility to see that the charter is followed and to fund testing and hiring. Has Mayor Ganim calle for a nationwide search for a new Personnel Director and what about the Director of Labor Relation?
The one thing that Eric Amado does not have is “experience” and experience is needed in hiring and testing. JML, the question still is why after all of these years that none of the different members of the city council ever questioned the mayor why was David Dunn allowed to remain as a “Acting” Personnel Director for 12 years in violation of the city charter.
Are you saying Eric Amado was involved in the AJ and Dunn grand jury investigation? He retained legal representation?
This is very important news.
Rather than find someone who is uniquely qualified to be the Director of Civil Service, Mayor Ganim put in Eric who may be college educated, yet he has none if the skills needed as the department head. Mayor Ganim left the door open to continue to use Civil Service as a means of offering political patronage jobs to his friends and cohorts. Eric dare not say no to Mayor Ganim because he has two city jobs that were given to him without the benefit of testing for either job. Does this qualify as Only In Bridgeport?
I think Pete Townsend sums it up best when he said, it’s “An eminence front, it’s a put on.”
Come and join the party
Dress to kill
Won’t you come and join the party
Dress to kill, dress to kill
That big wheel spins, the hair thins
Forget they’re hiding
The news slows
Their shares crash, hopes are dashed
Forget they’re hiding
Behind an eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s just an eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
An eminence front
An eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s an eminence front, it’s a put on
It’s a put on, it’s a put on, it’s a put on
His educational background is political science and history. A good background if you wanted to ??? But not a good background for this job. Maybe personnel management or labor relations would be useful all political science tells me that if you don’t do what the mayor says you’ll be history.
I agree that Puerto Ricans are Joe Gamin’s base and he needs to placed them in key positions. This has more to do with Ganim than Eric because Eric has been placed in this situation by Ganim. I agree with Bob, Eric doesn’t have the background and experience for the Personnel Director position, Labor Relation yes. Eric is trying to be a good a good employee by performing the duties that he has been asked to do. Gamin is hiding, it’s a put on and Eric Amado is being setup for failure.
Lennie, thanks for the background and credentials for Eric Amado, I don’t recall seeing anybody else information like this of Eric.
Lennie, could you post the City’s job requirement for both the Personnel Director and the Labor Relation Director.
Ron, I’ll check. The city charter has specific language regarding the Personnel Director. See below:
Sec. 204. – Personnel director; assistants; civil service status.
(a)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.(b)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. (These sections amended, 1986 referendum)
Lennie, thanks, how about David Dunn’s background and credentials? Maybe the City can bring Jack Colligan, the former Personnel Director, Civil Service Director to assist Eric Amado so that Eric can run the Labor Relation Office. Has Mayor Ganim request that the city put out announcement for a nationwide search for a new Personnell Director?