Next court dates pushed back for former Bridgeport police chief, personnel director
BRIDGEPORT — The probable cause hearings in federal court for former Police Chief Armando “AJ” Perez and former Personnel Director David Dunn have been rescheduled.
Dunn’s lawyer, Frederick Paoletti, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the hearings, scheduled for noon Thursday, had been continued. Paoletti said he and Perez’s lawyer, Robert Frost, had requested the continuances but he declined further comment.
Frost could not be reached for comment. Federal officials did not return calls for comment.
No new date for the hearings was immediately scheduled.
On Sept. 10, Perez, 64, and Dunn, 72, were charged by federal prosecutors with defrauding the city of Bridgeport by allegedly rigging the 2018 police chief examination and making false statements to federal agents in the course of the investigation.
During their arraignment that same day, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel continued the case for a probable cause hearing on Thursday.
Both men, following their release on $150,000 bonds, resigned their positions with the city.
Former assistant U.S. attorney Brian Spears said it is “exceedingly rare” to have a probable cause hearing in federal court after the government has filed a criminal complaint.
“Usually the government will go before a grand jury and try to get an indictment. Once a grand jury indicts, that obviates the need for a probable cause hearing,” said Spears, speaking generally about federal cases.
The criminal complaint against Dunn and Perez states that evidence in the case was presented to a grand jury.
Spears said the government generally has 30 days from the time of the arrest to obtain an indictment. But, he said, the parties can agree to continue the date for a probable cause hearing to give the government more time to get an indictment.