Connecticut police chief arrested for allegedly rigging process to get hired

Bridgeport Police Chief Armando "A.J." Perez and David Dunn, the city's acting personnel director, face multiple charges, including lying to investigators.

Armando “A.J.” Perez has been arrested for allegedly manipulating the hiring process leading to his appointment as police chief in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city.

After his arrest, Armando “A.J.” Perez (above) resigned as Bridgeport police chief. Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed Assistant Chief Rebeca Garcia as acting chief. (NBC News)

Perez and David Dunn, Bridgeport’s acting personnel director, have been arrested. The men are facing multiple charges, including wire fraud, lying to investigators and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The United States Attorney’s office issued a statement accusing the two of joining forces to help Perez cheat on his 2018 police chief exam, what they call defrauding the “purportedly impartial and objective search for a permanent police chief.”

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“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,” said Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney, in a statement.

Their indictment accuses Perez of persuading officers to write the written portion of his exam and requesting that one enter headquarters for stolen confidential information. It also alleges that Dunn persuaded a panelist to rank Perez in the top three candidates for the final stage of the hiring process.

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“Bridgeport’s citizens and police officers deserve leaders with integrity who are committed to enforcing, not breaking, the law,” said Strauss, “and we thank the FBI for their partnership in investigating and uncovering the scheme alleged.”

Perez, 64, and Dunn, 72, have both been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. Perez also faces two counts of making false statements to federal investigators while Dunn faces a single count of the same crime. These each carry a maximum prison sentence of five years.

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Both men are set to appear before Judge William I. Garfinkel in federal court today.

After his arrest, Perez resigned as Bridgeport police chief. Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed Assistant Chief Rebeca Garcia as Bridgeport’s acting police chief.

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