Years before federal authorities took Bridgeport police Chief Armando Perez into custody Thursday and alleged he fixed the process that led to his hiring, residents and civic groups had decried a nationwide search for a new police chief they feared would point to the longtime friend of Mayor Joe Ganim.
So when Perez was cast in front of a federal magistrate judge on charges that he and the city’s acting personnel director set out to rig a charter-mandated police chief examination in Perez’s favor, few were met with surprise.
The civic group Bridgeport Generation Now, which led a charge in 2018 to open up the search process to public scrutiny, issued a statement that their suspicions were confirmed by Thursday’s arrest.
“From the beginning, we know something wasn’t right, we knew the process was being rigged in Perez’s favor, we just didn’t have proof,” the statement read. “The administration saw to that with closed-door meetings, secret panels, a last minute luncheon and finally, the appointment of Perez on election night 2018.”