Airport Manager fired after driveway scandal

BRIDGEPORT — The city has fired Airport Manager John Ricci for “reckless and intentional misconduct” regarding his involvement in the decision to pay controversial developer Manuel Moutinho to build a driveway to his Stratford home on airport property owned by Bridgeport.

In a statement issued by the city Thursday afternoon, Mayor Bill Finch said he will be implementing new reporting requirements for officials to monitor compliance with the city’s Code of Ethics. Ricci’s case has also been referred to the city’s Ethics Commission.

Minutes after the city issued a press release announcing Ricci’s termination, he issued a statement to Only in Bridgeport, a blog run by Lennie Grimaldi, a former Ganim staffer. In the statement he outlines the process for giving Moutinho the contract, continues to claim his innocence and asks leading questions about whether other city officials knew more than they are now admitting.

“During the entire process of getting the access road constructed I made no assumptions or decisions regarding method of procurement, final choice of contractor, or award of contract for construction. By revealing that I had a long history and close friendship with Manny to everyone involved, in effect, I recused myself at all levels of my participation and acted only as directed by the City Attorneys’ Office and did nothing including making any expenditures without its approval,” Ricci said.

For the full statement, visit the OnlyinBridgeport blog.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story.

Keila Torres Ocasio