Tiago Tagged For ‘Sunshine Fund’ Scrap Metal Sales, Does It Go Deeper? How Municipal Due Process Works

Deputy Director of Public Facilities Joe Tiago is one of four municipal employees who faces disciplinary action in the wake of turning scrap-metal sales into cash used purportedly as a sunshine fund account to cover goodies to boost department morale, according to multiple sources in City Hall.

The FBI is conducting a probe to follow the money.

Mayor Joe Ganim announced on Tuesday that his appointed director of the department John Ricci will be docked two weeks pay and two weeks vacation for his role in the matter. Ricci accepted responsibility as the department head. He says he did not use the money for personal use. It was spent “to pay for meals, cakes, event tickets and other morale-boosting activities.”

The federal probe of department employees could determine otherwise as well as a potential trail of work wired to Tiago associates.

Documents obtained by Hearst in December showed more than $35,500 worth of cash-for-scrap transactions between municipal workers and Bridgeport-based P.C. Metals.

Two other Public Facilities employees Jose DeMoura and Luis Burgos also face disciplinary action, according to sources. Tiago, DeMoura and Burgos are unionized employees who will receive due process hearings on Friday before the city’s Labor Relations Department. Following the hearing Labor Relations will issue findings.

Ricci serves as the pleasure of Ganim.

Tiago, who has a construction background, formerly owned two Downtown restaurants. He joined city service under Bill Finch’s mayoral administration. He was elevated to the deputy director’s position by Ricci.

OIB reached out to former Mayor Tom Bucci, a labor relations legal specialist, who provided insight into municipal due process:

Due Process for the city translates into

1. An investigative meeting with the employee in which he is asked questions about the situation, such as what he knows about the sale of the scrap, how long has it been going on? Who takes the scrap to the dealer? Who gets the payment? Is it in cash? What happens to the money? Is it turned over to someone with the City? Is a record kept?

2. After investigation is complete, and the city determines there has been a violation of its ordinances, rules and regulations (criminal violation will be forwarded on to BPD–separate and distinct criminal process), the city will draft a notice to the employee to attend a “Loudermill Hearing (named after Supreme Court case of Cleveland v. Loudermill). The notice to satisfy due process should list the charges that the city is considering bringing against the employee, and, most importantly, but often omitted in violation of due process rights, an explanation of the evidence on which the charges are based.

3. At the hearing, the employee is given an opportunity to dispute the charges. It is not a trial type hearing; no rules of evidence, no objective judge, no other witnesses. This is adequate as long as a trial type hearing is afforded the charged employee post-discipline, which in most cases it is since the employee is covered by a union that has an arbitration process which satisfies the trial type hearing requirement.

4. After the Loudermill, the employee is either exonerated or disciplined up to and including termination.



  1. I worked in retail management for over twenty years. If any employee at any level stole $5 or $5 in merchandise they would be terminated. Mayor Ganim has already confirmed there is missing money.

    Joe Tiago is also engaged to Mario Testa’s niece.

    Jose DeMaura is also related to Joe Tiago.

    Termination can be the only acceptable discipline because this was clearly theft of tax payer funds.

    I don’t think that will happen for one minute.

  2. Jimfox, you are absolutely correct, Mayor Ganim needs to resign because this thievery was done under his watch. The people of Bridgeport can no longer trust him with doing what’s best for them nor can they trust him to appoint people that have the best interest of its residents at heart.

    1. Damn those people who didn’t share in the morale boosting cakes and small party events to keep everyone happy! They must have started this whole innocent thing!!!!!

  3. What I wonder about is , what happens to all the revenue from the B.O.E. scrap metal. The B.O.E. runs about 35+ buildings, that regularly put out scrap metal., for pick up ( broken desk, tables, chairs, filing cabinets and anything metal ) that is picked up by B.O.E. trucks. I downloaded the spreadsheet on the board of education budget and can not find out ,how much they make.

    1. Velez..whoever you are. why are you trying to change the subject and starting to bring in the B.O.E. Contact the FBI who are in Bridgeport AGAIN with your evidence. As of now,Ricci,Tiago and two other city employees have been fingered. What I am wondering is why Ken Flatto came to the immediate defense of Ricci and Company when this first broke out?

      1. Who do I write a letter to? I might have a combination of myopia and presbyopia but my digitally surfaced high tech progressive lenses work pretty well for me.

        1. I was referring to Velez, he asked the question. But to answer his question, before he accuses without proof, I believe anything picked up usually goes to the transfer station which becomes the city’s responsibility. And I don’t thing they’re throwing away thousands of pounds of desks every day. Most tables are made of wood or plastic, and filing cabinets don’t really go bad every day. Plus, with the price of steel at the scrap yard, maybe 3 or 4 cents a pound you’d probably need a whole truckload to make $8. And, I highly doubt the drivers would be dumb enough to go with a city truck to cash in, unless you have pictures or copies of receipts you wanna share with us.

  4. I have to wonder why there is so much apathy toward the corruption in Bridgeport. That a convicted felon and disgraced attorney is back in the mayor’s office boggles the mind. One has to wonder why loudmouthed gas bags like Steven Auerbach are allowed to speak on behalf of the crook in the mayor’s office and all of the privileged cronies earning fat salaries for doing nothing for the people of the city of Bridgeport. “Same shit, different day” is just not cutting it anymore.

  5. Residents, Taxpayers and City employees with ethics and morals should demand that the individuals involved be fired. Unite And fight for what’s right. Start with protesting at 999 Broad Street!

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

    Mr Ricci,having said this has now implicated Public Facilities past director Charlie Caroll,has he not?.He’s basically saying the stealing started years ago,and he just continued to do it.I guess that will be his defense when he gets indicted.

  7. some 4 years ago, a principal at a certain East End school was put on administrative leave for stealing from the student activity fund – the money she stole was used to pay for her personal bills. she was subsequently fired. I don’t how much she had to pay in restitution.

    John Ricci got off easy

  8. Where’s the elected officials that truly represent the city and their constituents, why aren’t they outraged and demand the termination of Tiago, DeMoura, and Burgos!

  9. Like I have said on other posts about this issue…. WHERE IS MARILYN MOORE? This is an obvious case of standard Bridgeport bad governance. MM should release a press report(to Lennie and OIB) that she would not tolerate this malfeasance and that all involved would be fired because they broke the trust between the People of Bridgeport for whom they are supposedly working for in 100% public trust. I am really disappointed that MM has not spoken out about this mess.

  10. Frank- you are absolutely correct! Even if only for “political” purposes she should jump on this issue- as should should any COMMON COUNCIL member who really cares and wants to do the right thing for the common people of the City. But………….
    Welcome to Bridgeport. The scummiest swamp in the northeast. Nobody in elected office apparently cares about the people.

  11. They forced the former Weigh Master at the Transfer Station into retirement. Big boss man did not like the way he ran his shop. He never loaded 40 yard container after 40 yard container after 40 yard container… and cashed them in at the metal joint. Lets see what happens to this guy! Kiss the ring! All is forgiven!


Leave a Reply