'Follow the law' - Bridgeport councilmembers call on Ganim to replace acting police chief

Members of the Bridgeport City Council and prominent residents are calling on Mayor Joe Ganim to replace the acting police chief appointed in the wake of former police chief AJ Perez’s indictment.
Perez and the city’s acting personnel director David Dunn were arrested for allegedly defrauding the city by rigging the 2018 police chief examination, mandated by the City Charter, to ensure Perez would be selected for the position.
They were also charged with making false statements to federal agents in the course of the investigation.
Ganim then appointed Assistant Chief Rebeca Garcia to acting chief following Perez's resignation. Bridgeport City Councilwoman Maria Pereira says that the appointment was not valid because Ganim failed to appoint a permanent police chief as required by the City Charter.
"Instead, he chose to appoint an acting chief of police that did not participate in the national chief of police search in 2018, therefore is not a finalist on the current employment list," she said.
Included on that list is former New Haven Assistant Police Chief Lewis Casanova and current Bridgeport Police Capt. Rod Porter, who lives in Bridgeport.
Councilmember Eneida Martinez and former state Rep. Chris Caruso joined Pereira’s call for Garcia’s replacement.
"The law is there, follow the law – and it's about time people in this city started holding this mayor accountable to the law,” said Caruso.
In a statement, the city cited its own portion of the charter which reads: "The Mayor may appoint any member of the department as acting chief so long as they possess the qualifications of chief specified."
The statement goes on to say, “Acting Chief Rebeca Garcia clearly meets the qualifications of this Charter section."