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Former Bridgeport police chief Armando Perez to receive half of his pension

Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez speaks during an interview at the Police Training Academy, in Bridgeport, Conn. April 29, 2019.
Ned Gerard
Hearst Connecticut Media
Police Chief Armando “A.J.” Perez speaks during an interview at the Police Training Academy, in Bridgeport, Conn. April 29, 2019.

Former Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez will lose half of his more than $100,000 annual pension after a Superior Court judge issued a decision Tuesday.

Perez pled guilty in 2020 to fraud charges. Judge Claudia Baio wrote in her decision that Perez needed to face accountability.

“It is difficult to imagine why one in his position would have taken such a gamble,” Baio said. “He however, must live with those consequences.”

Perez, who became the city’s top cop in 2018, would later face a stunning reversal after he was arrested by the FBI in 2020 over his scheme to rig the hiring process for the police chief position.

He continuously fought to keep his pension, citing financial difficulties and at times, emotional testimony from his wife, Isabel who pleaded with the court to allow him to keep his pension.

State Attorney General William Tong’s office, which is required by state law to issue a lawsuit to revoke or reduce a convicted public official’s pension if they are convicted on corruption charges, issued a statement.

“As a police officer, A.J. Perez had the highest ethical duty to obey and respect the law. We respect the judge’s sound decision in this case” the statement reads.

Baio was somewhat sympathetic to Perez’s plight.

“In taking into account the considerations as they relate to the innocent spouse, the court finds that 25% of the reduced pension should be paid to Mrs. Perez, the innocent spouse.”

In her testimony, Isabel Perez spoke about her family’s difficulties. She said she worked as a surgical technician at Fairfield Surgery Center in Fairfield. The judge’s decision showed Isabel made over $73,000 a year. The Perez family’s total household debt is $725,000.

Perez was acting chief before he was permanently hired in 2018, but he worked with a former city employee to rig the police chief’s exam.

Perez previously said during a February hearing he did not feel confident he could pass the exam due to his comparative lack of education. He expressed remorse for his crime.

When asked how removing his pension would hurt him, Perez answered plainly.

“It would destroy my family,” Perez said.

Perez’s attorneys and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s office were reached for comment, but did not respond by Wednesday.

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