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FBI interviews Bridgeport public facilities staff

January 17, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were spotted in City Hall Thursday morning interviewing staff in the public facilities department, multiple sources said.

One source claimed to have seen the agents first hand, while others said they heard about the visit.

The FBI is believed to be investigating sales of scrap metal for cash by some city employees.

The money was being quietly kept in an off-the-books petty cash fund in public facilities. John Ricci, a veteran city staffer and close political ally of Mayor Joe Ganim who runs public facilities, has said only around $5,500 was deposited in the account over the past two years to be used to buy cakes, meals, event tickets and other purchases to boost morale.

But, as previously reported, documents obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media late last year and also shared with some City Council members have shown over $35,500 worth of cash-for-scrap transactions at Bridgeport-based P.C. Metals.

Ricci, who has played key advisory roles in Ganim’s mayoral races and in his failed 2018 gubernatorial bid, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The scrap metal investigation is potentially politically damaging for Ganim as he seeks re-election this year.

Ganim, who was first mayor from 1991 until 2003, was convicted of corruption following a federal investigation into a pay-to-play operation he ran out of City Hall. With the help of Ricci and other allies, Ganim waged an improbable comeback in 2015, convincing Bridgeport voters to give him a second chance running Connecticut’s largest municipality.

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