‘Sunshine Fund’ Creates Cloud Over Public Facilities–Ricci Takes Initial Pay Hit, Who’s Next?

Following the announcement of an FBI probe, Mayor Joe Ganim on Tuesday took disciplinary action against his appointed Public Facilities Director John Ricci for turning scrap-metal sales into cash used presumably “to pay for meals, cakes, event tickets and other morale-boosting activities”. Ricci told the CT Post “I take no issue with the mayor’s action. I am a director and subject to the same discipline any of my subordinates are subject to.”

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Ricci reiterated what he had told Hearst last November when the scrap metal sales were first made public–that at the time he was aware of some scrap metal being sold for cash, with around $5,500 placed in a department “sunshine fund” or petty account to pay for meals, cakes, event tickets and other morale-boosting activities.

Ricci, whom Ganim put in charge of public facilities in 2016, had also said in November that the sunshine fund predated him.

“I did, in fact, continue an ongoing process that was in place which was in violation of an existing city ordinance,” Ricci said Tuesday, adding, “I did not take any money for any personal use. It was used for morale purposes.”

How deep does this go into the department? Three more city employees have been charged with violating city policies, according to a news release issued by the mayor’s office. Why does it take an FBI probe to take action?

Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that the City of Bridgeport has taken swift disciplinary actions against several city employees as a direct result of an internal investigation for mishandling funds related to the sale of scrap metal. In coordination with Labor Relations, and effective immediately, Director of Public Facilities, John Ricci will forfeit the equivalent of four weeks of pay, as two weeks of employment salary as well as two weeks of vacation time. Three additional employees of the Department of Public Facilities are also charged with violating city policies and ordinances and will be receiving charges.

“These disciplinary measures have no ramification on any criminal investigation that is moving forward,” said Ganim. “As I stated a month ago when we first learned of the possible mishandlings of monies, any employee found in violation will be subject to immediate disciplinary action.”

As a result of this incident the administration is in the process of restructuring a number of functions related to the duties and responsibilities of Public Facilities in coordination with the Financing and Purchasing Departments.

Citizens may be assured that all duties and operations of the Department of Public Facilities will be carried out as normal, and as needed should there be a storm related incident.



  1. C’mon Mayor Ganim, this happened last year and since then you’ve done absolutely nothing and now that the FBI are investigating you are punishing the individuals that should have been punished last year. Good job. Ricci should have been fired when he lied about the amount of money involved. C’mon Mayor Ganim. You can bullshit some of the people of Bridgeport, but you can’t bullshit the FBI. They know your past history.

  2. Really Day, Joe did nothing? I believe John wanted to retire and Joe refused his resignation. Do you think this scheme has only been going on since Joe came back into office?

    C’mon people. Chances are this could be just the tip of the iceberg if the FBI want and are planning to bring criminal cases., to what extent. They, FBI, like to put on a show. When it comes to political corruption cases. You know they have wire tapes. That’s their thing, right Joe, Chief, Adams?


  3. This is the most absurd discipline I have ever heard regarding a high-level employee regardless of who that employee is.

    Vacation time is earned and all high -level appointees follow the Supervisors Union benefits regardless if they are members or not.

    Certainly, you can suspend an employee with or without pay, but you cannot take someone’s earned benefits away. Could they take away your healthcare, personal days, pension, etc.? No, they cannot.

    This means that the employee being disciplined will not miss one day of employment, but is giving up two weeks of paid vacation.

    Again, I don’t care who it is that is being disciplined. That is irrelevant. There is no reputable company in the country that would discipline a high-level employee in such a manner.

    This is Ganim fealing the heat due to the FBI visit, and the announcement by Moore.

    1. Exactly Maria,if this wasn’t an election year Joe would issue the “let’s let the investigation run it’s course before we decide on any disciplinary action”.but for the next 10 months it’s all about getting reelected.He has already warned EVERY city employee to NOT talk to the press about anything,he has suddenly been showing up all over the city.I mean how many more times are we going to get photo ops about the Congress st bridge??If a new street light gets installed,Joe will be there cutting a ribbon.
      Fact is,Ricci is Joe’s long time friend and confidant,he could feign this outrage,but we all know the rotten apples don’t fall far from the tree.Waiting for the Feds to start digging into Tiago’s dealings with Vaz construction next.

  4. Let us not forget that with President 45 shutting down the federal government FBI agents are getting paid and they are not able to do the type of investigation that they normally would do like they when they investigated Joe Ganim the first time.

    1. The government will reopen soon. More Americans are in favor of impeaching Donald Trump than approve of his job performance. A majority also blame him, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP for the government shutdown.

      1. I find it amazing that Republicans like David Walker and other statewide members of the Republican Party have silent about President 45 on anything, children being taken from their mothers, the closing of the government just for starters. How will they ever be the majority party when they only reach out to white males and the national level it’s white males in the South.

          1. David Walker has spoken out publicly on the economy with his “60 Minutes” interview and twice he started running for governor in Connecticut.

        1. Ron..going beyond Dave Walker. I disagree with Mr. Walker’s political and economic positions but he has always been a gentleman and a scholar to me. I can’t say that about other Bridgeport Republicans. I have been following CT. Republican Chair J.R. Romano and he has learned absolutely nothing from his useless and ineffective time as CT Republican Chair. He had his “Who lost GE?” strategy and that was a bust. In fact,it was GE chair Jeff Immelt who “lost GE.” Then J.R. hitched all his horses to Trump acolyte Stepanowski and social issues Neanderthal Markley and lost big time. Any historical analysis shows that Stepanowski should have won. Now..J.R. Romano is hitching is political fortunes on a “No Toll” campaign. J.R. Romano is a loser and should resign as chair of the CT. Republican Party. The problem is that no one wants that job so J.R. may be safe due to a lack of competition.

  5. This scam has been going on way before Ganim became mayor again. There is zero oversight of the maintenance departments of the Public works and to more extent the Board of Ed maintenance department.
    Putting GPS in the vehicles has slowed down the scam that had been going on behind the upper echelons backs for-ever


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