The former mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Joe Ganim, is a convicted criminal who served seven years in prison for public corruption, and he’s in good standing to win his old job back.

Ganim served as mayor from 1991 to 2003, and his time in office ended with 16 convictions for bribery, racketeering, and extortion. The charges involved a scheme to manipulate city contracts in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in wine, cash, and home amenities. Ganim was released from prison in 2010.

Astonishingly, Ganim won the Connecticut Democratic mayoral primary last month, defeating two-term Mayor Bill Finch. Many supporters herald Ganim because they say he lowered taxes, improved schools, and cleaned up Bridgeport for residents. However, his opponents maintain that Ganim’s record is trumped up and exaggerated.

Regardless of how successful a politician is, there is no room for corruption because it violates the public trust. Many say he’s given Bridgeport the reputation of being a corrupt city, and the city is having trouble shaking that perception.

For more on this story, visit Talking Points MemoConnecticut Voters Consider Giving Ex-Con Former Mayor Another Term In Office”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced