Armando Perez, the police chief of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has resigned from his post after being arrested on federal fraud charges. The city's mayor, Joe Ganim, announced the news in a video posted to social media Thursday afternoon, confirming Assistant Chief Rebeca Garcia will be the acting police chief until further notice.
Perez and Bridgeport's personnel director, David Dunn, were arrested Thursday for allegedly "rigging" a 2018 police chief examination to ensure Perez would be hired for the position. According to legal documents obtained by Patch, Dunn is accused of obtaining confidential exam questions and emailing them in advance to Perez. He also allegedly had a consultant tailor the scoring criteria and enlisted two of his subordinates to write exam essays for Perez.
Perez reportedly beat out 15 other candidates for the police chief position, for which he received a five-year contract that included "a payout of more than $300,000 to Perez for accrued leave."
"As alleged, Chief Perez and Personnel Director Dunn schemed to rig the purportedly impartial and objective search for a permanent police chief to ensure the position was awarded to Perez, and then repeatedly lied to federal agents in order to conceal their conduct," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. "Bridgeport’s citizens and police officers deserve leaders with integrity who are committed to enforcing, not breaking, the law, and we thank the FBI for their partnership in investigating and uncovering the scheme alleged."
Perez and Dunn were each charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Perez is facing additional two counts of making false statements to federal investigators, and Dunn is charged with one count of making false statements to federal investigators.
The men were each were each granted a $150,000 bond. Their next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.