Ex-Bridgeport, Conn., mayor ends 7-year term for graft
HARTFORD — Joseph Ganim, the former mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., became a free man yesterday after serving nearly seven years for corruption while in office, but political observers and local officials doubt he will run for office any time soon.
Ganim, 50, was a popular mayor, often credited with reviving Connecticut’s largest city, and had ambitions to be governor.
Asked if he planned to seek public office again, Ganim said: “I think right now I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time at home catching up on some family time, so that’s what the future holds right now. We’ll see what happens from there.’’
Ganim, who was on home confinement for several months, drove to Hartford with his 9-year-old son yesterday to sign out of the halfway house where he was sent in January after being released from prison. He walked up to the halfway house with his arm around his son.
“It’s a great day,’’ he said. “It’s been a long haul, and I really want to thank my family and my friends and so many people who have been so supportive for us over too many months to count.’’
Ganim, convicted of 16 corruption charges, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2003 for steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive wine, custom clothes, cash, and home improvements.
His sentence was reduced a year for joining a drug treatment program.
Political observers said Ganim would have a tough time winning office again.
“It’s supremely difficult for someone who served a jail sentence for corruption to come back and say, ‘All right, voters, I’d like you to give me your trust again,’ ’’ said Scott McLean, professor of political science at Quinnipiac University.