Ganim hires D.C. chief as cop consultant

April 25, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — Just a few months after making good friend and political ally Armando Perez police chief, Mayor Joe Ganim is hiring a retired top cop from Washington D.C. as a consultant for Bridgeport’s Finest.

Former Chief Charles Ramsey was supposed to be in town Thursday for a private meet-and-greet luncheon with Ganim and Perez and some community leaders. A copy of the luncheon invitation provided to Hearst Connecticut Media stated, “We look forward to Chief Ramsey getting to know the city and providing his professional and vast experience in community policing.”

Ramsey’s salary was not immediately available.

City Council President Aidee Nieves in a brief interview confirmed that she was aware Ramsey was being brought aboard. Nieves said that Ramsey would be looking at improving the police department’s relationship with the community, implementing more modern public safety strategies, and helping Perez seek accreditation for the department - something that has been Perez’s goal since Ganim promoted him from captain to acting chief in March, 2016.

“I think it’ll be good for the city, the department,” Nieves said, while also anticipating some criticism given Perez’s critics have continually claimed he was never qualified to be named permanent chief with a five-year contract.

Ganim selected Perez in November following a nationwide search for a permanent top cop which, as recently reported, has caught the interest of the FBI, which over the winter launched an ongoing criminal probe involving the Department of Public Facilities.

“Some might see it as, ‘Oh we have to hire a consultant to help him’,” admitted Nieves. She said it is very common for the city to bring in consultants to provide outside expertise to different departments.

Ganim, who was mayor in the 1990s and re-elected, with help from Perez and the police union, in 2015, not long after his return to City Hall hired former Bridgeport Police Chief Wilbur Chapman as his public safety adviser.

Chapman’s tenure was controversial — some critics claimed it was money wasted — and he ultimately left.

Even as Ramsey will be working for the city, the Ganim administration continues to battle a wrongful terminatino lawsuit filed by another outsider who had been hired to help modernize the Bridgeport Police Department: ex-Assistant Chief James Nardozzi. Ganim fired Nardozzi in early 2016 as part of the returned mayor’s strategy to make Perez acting chief and oust then-Chief Joseph Gaudett. Nardozzi is suing for $1 million.

Like Ramsey, Nardozzi, was touted as an outsider who would help modernize Bridgeport’s Finest when he was hired by Ganim’s predecessor, Mayor Bill Finch.