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Ganim, Gomes disagree on hiring outside investigator to look into city employee

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D).
Bill Rodrigues
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim (D).

The City of Bridgeport has hired an outside investigator to take over the probe into municipal employee Wanda Geter-Pataky, one of the central figures in the absentee ballot fraud case.

Current Mayor Joe Ganim said that’s a good thing, but challenger John Gomes disagrees.

Geter-Pataky is the vice chair of the Democratic Town Committee and a greeter at the city’s government center. She was placed on paid leave from her job with the city after videos were released of her allegedly stuffing the absentee ballot box before the Sept. 12 Democratic primary.

Ganim said he supports the decision to hire an outside investigator in the case.

“I think the objectivity that an outside agency provides is important in this situation,” Ganim told WSHU. “I support 100% that move by the administration.”

But Gomes, whose campaign released the video of Geter-Pataky in the days after the primary, said it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and that Geter-Pataky should be fired.

He called it “a tactic to avoid the real issue.”

“We already have a recommendation by the secretary of state to the attorney general for criminal charges,” Gomes said in an interview on Thursday. “And now we have overwhelming evidence and video footage to include a verdict from the court to say that the crime was committed. What more do we need? When is action going to be taken?”

The videos of Geter-Pataky dropping ballots in the box 10 times were cited by Superior Court Judge William Clark in his decision to order a new Democratic primary.

That primary is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.