AG Tong sets his sights on the pensions of two Bridgeport figures accused in a city job-rigging scandal

Edmund H. Mahony, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

Attorney General William Tong announced Wednesday he will try to revoke, or at least reduce the municipal pensions of two, high-ranking political appointees in Bridgeport who were accused in September of orchestrating a job rigging scandal.

Former Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez and Personnel Director David Dunn were charged with and pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and false statement charges after getting caught rigging the civil service process that resulted in Perez being promoted from acting chief to chief. The two resigned after being arrested.

Perez, a career city police office who got a $300,00 check for accrued leave when he was promoted to chief, is collecting a $102,000 annual pension. Dunn, another career Bridgeport employee, gets an $81,000 pension.

Tong said in a statement that he is moving on the pensions under anti-corruption laws enacted following a series of state corruption convictions a decade and a half ago.

“Perez and Dunn abused their positions for personal gain,” Tong said. "As a police officer, A.J. Perez had the highest ethical duty to obey and respect the law, making his misconduct particularly unconscionable. State law requires that my office take action to revoke or reduce the pension of state or municipal officials convicted of corruption-related charges. Taxpayers should not pay for the pensions of public employees who violate the public trust.”

Attorneys for Perez and Dunn were not immediately available to discuss possible pension revocations.

Federal prosecutors said have said in court that Perez and Dunn stole confidential examination materials and cheated in a variety of other ways to make sure that Perez finished among the top three finalists in what ostensibly was a 5-month long, national search in 2018 for a new Bridgeport police chief.

As acting chief, Perez had to finish among three finalists in order to be eligible for appointment by his long-time friend and political patron, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim.

FBI agents were able to recruit an informant on the inside of the job-rigging conspiracy and acquired voice recordings and email correspondence that documented the steps taken by Perez and Dunn to put Perez among the finalists.

Ganim was interviewed by FBI agents as part of the investigation and was told afterward that he would not be charged.

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