‘Were there any consequences? Of course not!’

John Gomes speaks to voters outside of the polls on Election Day in November (CT Examiner)

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When I began this campaign, I pledged to discuss the issues and concerns of all Bridgeport residents and taxpayers, and to lay out my vision for a more transparent and more responsive city government.

I also pledged to take the high road, and to refrain from personal attacks on any opponent.  I committed to announcing a positive agenda for the future.

However, I never said that I would not defend myself. I can no longer tolerate the abusive insults and ad hominem attacks aimed at me by a lawless, immoral, and unscrupulous disbarred lawyer who is bent on perpetuating a corrupt enterprise here in the city of Bridgeport.

One thing is crystal clear! We will have an election for Mayor on February 27, for one reason and one reason only: the documented fraud and corruption perpetuated by Joe Ganim and his corrupt regime.

The Ganim corruption is systemic, and it did not start with this election. It continues year after frustrating year, because corruption works to the advantage of Joe Ganim and his political henchmen.

Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane.

Remember Keeley v Ayala, in 2017?  Ganim’s hand picked Chief of Police, AJ Perez, received a telephone call from Mario Testa. As a result, Perez assigned an on-duty police officer to pick up absentee ballots from mailboxes at Testa’s direction, a blatant violation of the law which resulted in a new primary ordered by the Superior Court.

Were there any consequences? Of course not!

Perez remained as Chief of Police, Testa remained as the Democratic Party chair, the Police Commission did nothing, and the political machine prospered. So what if Testa’s former bartender was indicted for absentee ballot machinations?

Fast forward to 2019.

Joe Ganim loses the machine count in a Democratic Primary but wins after absentee ballots are counted.

A Judge finds evidence of wrongdoing but not enough to affect the result. The State Elections Enforcement Commission investigates and refers Wanda Geter Pataky to the State’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

Consequences? Not on your life!

Wanda Geter remains a city employee and a Democratic Town Committee leader and vice-chairman.

The only difference between 2019 and 2023 is that this time the corruption and lawbreaking was caught on tape.

Consequences? Not yet, if at all!

Wanda Geter Pataky takes the Fifth Amendment in court and is placed on paid leave from her city job. She has been paid over $40,000 during this leave of absence.

To add insult to injury, we taxpayers are paying for a lawyer to investigate her. Of course, she is still an officer in the Democratic Town Committee, as well as a Justice of the Peace.

Brought face to face with official corruption, Joe Ganim elected to attack me, hoping that the people of Bridgeport would have a short memory. Joe Ganim hopes that this deflection will make us forget his sixteen-count conviction for public corruption, and that his pay-for-play scheme deprived this city of economic opportunity.

Joe Ganim is a master of deception and dissembling. He lied before he went to jail, he lied about having a drug dependency to get out of jail early, then told some of the truth when he ran for office again. He didn’t tell the whole truth until his failed attempt to con the Connecticut Bar Association into restoring his law license.

He wants us to forget that during his second chance, the city of Bridgeport has become a punchline for corruption. His police chief and civil service administrator were convicted and incarcerated for rigging an examination, and Joe Ganim’s City Attorney signed agreements obligating the taxpayers to pay for outside criminal attorneys to represent Joe Ganim and his cronies during the investigation. There was no authority for this raid on the treasury, but that didn’t stop Joe Ganim.

The fact is, Joe Ganim learned nothing from his involuntary vacation at Fort Dix.

He remains a scofflaw. He rented out property he owned in Black Rock which he said was his personal residence. This violates the law, and he compounded the illegality by doing work on the property without obtaining a building permit. His Board of Assessment Appeals reduced his taxes by two thirds, or more than $20,000 before he sold the property at an obscene profit of $600,000.

It is time to turn the page, but the only way that can be accomplished is by voting Joe Ganim out of office..

I believe in second chances, and I applaud those who made mistakes and are now productive members of society. However, a belief in second chances (or third chances for that matter) does not require the people of Bridgeport to continue leaving the reins of power in the hands of a sixteen-count convicted lawbreaker and disbarred lawyer who continues to abuse the public trust and tarnish the reputation of a once proud city.

Joe Ganim tried to manufacture an employment scandal about me, and he failed miserably. Nothing in my personnel file backed up his mudslinging about my performance, as proven in Brian Lockhart’s CT Post article on January 20.

 Between now and February 27, I want to make Joe Ganim an offer that he should not refuse.

 If he stops smearing me, I promise to stop telling the truth about him!