Armando Perez Bridgeport police chief resigns after federal charges.

Bridgeport’s police chief has resigned, the mayor said, after allegations he and the city’s acting personnel director conspired to rig the 2018 chief search and then lied to the FBI about it, according to a federal complaint filed Thursday.

Armando Perez, former police chief, and David Dunn were both charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and lying to the FBI. If convicted, Dunn could face a maximum of 40 years in prison, Perez a maximum of 50 years.

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Mayor Joe Ganim in a video posted on Twitter late Thursday afternoon said Perez resigned as chief. Ganim said he will appoint Assistant Police Chief Rebeca Garcia as acting chief to lead the department. Garcia is the subject of a pending lawsuit contesting her qualifications to be assistant chief. Trial in that case is scheduled to begin next month in Superior Court.

Ganim said there is a “grappling for some of the answers as to what has happened, disappointment, uncertainty.”

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“The members of this administration will remain committed to you as residents of this city,” Ganim said, adding that public safety remains a top priority.

The complaint paints a picture of Perez as desperate to be appointed permanent police chief but frustrated because he was unable to fill out the application on his own and answer the exam questions. It states he convinced Dunn to help him and two officers, including one who resigned from the department because of racist emails, to write his application and provide him with draft answers for the test.

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According to the complaint, on an Oct. 17, 2018, phone call between Dunn and one of the interview panelists, “Dunn stated that the Mayor wanted Perez to be ‘in the top three.’ Panelist-1 understood Dunn to be asking Panelist-1 to score Perez higher and/or to influence other panelists to do the same.”

Ganim had to pick a police chief from the top three qualified candidates.

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