Bridgeport mayor appoints new Board of Ed member in spite of lawsuit

News 12 Connecticut has learned that Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed a Norwalk police officer to the city's troubled Board of Education, in spite

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed Rafael Fonseca Jr. to the Board of Education, according to city spokesman Av Harris.  Fonseca replaces Andre Baker, who resigned from the board in August.

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed Rafael Fonseca Jr. to the Board of Education, according to city spokesman Av Harris. Fonseca replaces Andre Baker, who resigned from the board in August. (9/28/16)

BRIDGEPORT - News 12 Connecticut has learned that Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed a Norwalk police officer to the city's troubled Board of Education, in spite of a lawsuit challenging the mayor's authority to do so.  The move comes as the school board has already canceled two meetings over internal strife.

Ganim has appointed Rafael Fonseca Jr. to the Board of Education, according to city spokesman Av Harris.  Fonseca replaces Andre Baker, who resigned from the board in August.

The board has not met since Aug. 22.  Four members are refusing to attend any more meetings until fellow board member Maria Pereira steps down, calling her a disruptive force on the panel.  It made the announcement Sept. 12, just hours after Pereira sued Mayor Ganim over his authority to fill Board of Education seats.  That lawsuit is still pending and could be decided as early as next week, according to Pereira.

This is the second seat Ganim has filled on the school board.  This summer, Ganim appointed Annette Segarra-Negron after former board chairman Dave Hennessey resigned.  Ganim's spokesman has said the board missed a 30-day window to fill the vacancy, so the mayor did it himself to keep business moving.

Ralphie Fonseca says he will not join the boycott and that means meetings will likely resume soon.

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