BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The former mayor of Bridgeport, who spent seven years in federal prison for public corruption, will once again be sworn in as mayor of Connecticut's largest city.
Joe Ganim completed a stunning political comeback when he defeated incumbent Mayor Bill Finch in the Sept. 16 primary and easily defeated seven opponents in the general election to win back his old job.
Ganim issued a public apology for his crimes earlier this year. The campaign by the Democrat, who was released from prison just five years ago, was fueled by a wave of goodwill from voters who fondly remembered his years in office, from 1991 until 2003. The nostalgia Ganim tapped into was a time which some remember as one of lower taxes and safer neighborhoods.
Ganim said the support he has received shows people are open to supporting somebody who owns up to their errors.
Candidates who ran against Ganim had said that the corruption which occurred while he was in office had cost the Bridgeport community millions of dollars. They also claimed that developers were worried about Ganim's possible return as mayor of Bridgeport.
The 56-year-old former attorney is scheduled to take the oath of office Tuesday evening at Klein Memorial Auditorium. The inauguration originally was to be held at a park, but plans were changed due to expected inclement weather.
Since his election night victory, Ganim has been busy meeting with state and federal officials, rebuilding relationships that may have been bruised during the campaign. Few elected officials endorsed Ganim. Also, he has made some initial appointments and created a 75-member transition task force with seven committees.
Those committees have been focusing on economic development, community neighborhood services, education and youth, government operations and financial policies, government accountability and transparency, and public safety and emergency services. They have until Feb. 1 to make a formal presentation to the new mayor.
On Monday, Ganim announced he was appointing 10 people, most of whom supported him during the campaign, to positions in the mayor's office. He tapped former FBI agent Edward Adams to serve as his senior adviser and director of governmental accountability and integrity. Adams, who said he played a leading role in the corruption probe that sent Ganim to prison, was actively involved in the Democrat's efforts to win back his old job.
Ganim has promised a "transparent government, accessible and accountable to our citizens," adding how the city's government "will be clean and effective."
Ganim also appointed state Rep. Charles Stallworth, who also is pastor of the East End Tabernacle, as another senior adviser and as director of community outreach and diversity. Daniel Roach, a Bridgeport Police commissioner and Ganim's campaign manager, was named director of city operations and government affairs.
Former Fairfield First Selectman Kenneth Flatto was tapped as the city's director of finance.