Thomas W. Bucci

Last updated
Thomas Bucci
49th Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut
In office
Preceded by Leonard S. Paoletta
Succeeded by Mary C. Moran
Personal details
Born (1948-04-17) April 17, 1948 (age 71) [1]
Bridgeport, Connecticut [1]
Political party Democratic

Thomas W. Bucci (born April 17, 1948) is an American attorney and the former mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Bucci served two terms in office and was succeeded by Mary C. Moran. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Mary Chapar Moran is a former mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.


Family and personal life

Bucci is the cousin of Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee Chairman Mario Testa. [2] [3]

Bucci graduated from Sacred Heart University and the University of Connecticut School of Law. [4]

Sacred Heart University private Roman Catholic university located in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States

Sacred Heart University (SHU) is a private Roman Catholic university in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart was founded in 1963 by the Most Reverend Walter W. Curtis, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Sacred Heart was the first Catholic university in the United States to be staffed by the laity.

University of Connecticut School of Law

The University of Connecticut School of Law is the only public law school in Connecticut and one of only four in New England. The school was recently ranked 50th overall, and 51st by academic peer reputation, out of the 206 American Bar Association-accredited law schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, while the evening program was recently ranked 11th in the country. The law school is located in Hartford, Connecticut. Considered a Public Ivy, the main campus of the University of Connecticut is located in Storrs and is considered one of the leading research universities in the United States.

Bucci was admitted to the bar in Connecticut in 1973 and is also licensed to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. [4] Bucci is a past president of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association. [4]

Admission to the bar in the United States

Admission to the bar in the United States is the granting of permission by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in the jurisdiction and before those courts. Each U.S. state and similar jurisdiction has its own court system and sets its own rules for bar admission, which can lead to different admission standards among states. In most cases, a person is "admitted" or "called" to the bar of the highest court in the jurisdiction and is thereby authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction. In addition, Federal Courts of the United States, although often overlapping in admission standards with states, set their own requirements for practice in each of those courts.

Connecticut U.S. state in the United States

Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. As of the 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, Human Development Index (0.962), and median household income in the United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its capital is Hartford and its most populous city is Bridgeport. It is part of New England, although portions of it are often grouped with New York and New Jersey as the tri-state area. The state is named for the Connecticut River which approximately bisects the state. The word "Connecticut" is derived from various anglicized spellings of an Algonquian word for "long tidal river".

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that involve a point of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. The Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution. Presidential directives can be struck down by the Court for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The Court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide non-justiciable political questions.

Bucci is a founding partner of the law firm of Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. [4] He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Connecticut v. Teal. [4] Other notable cases include his defense of Dr. Moshe Gai, a professor who was fired from the University of Connecticut. [5]

A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other matters in which legal advice and other assistance are sought.

Mayor of Bridgeport

Bucci was twice elected mayor of Bridgeport and served out both terms.


In 1985, Bucci won a four-way Democratic primary for mayor, defeating 1983 Democratic mayoral candidate Charles B. Tisdale, City Clerk Leonard L. Crone, and former mayor John C. Mandanici. [6] Bucci then unseated incumbent mayor Leonard S. Paoletta, the Republican nominee, in the general election. [7]

John C. Mandanici Sr. was an American politician who served three terms as the mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the largest city in the U.S. state of Connecticut.

Leonard S. "Lenny" Paoletta is an American lawyer and former mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was a Republican.

In 1987, Bucci won the Democratic primary by a margin of 3-1, defeating State Representative Robert T. Keeley Jr. [8]

In 1989, Bucci lost his bid for a third term to Mary Moran by a margin of 54% vs. 40%, with 6% going to minor candidates. [9]

"Armpit of New England"

In 1987, Money magazine ranked Bridgeport as the nation's 37th-best place to live. In response, newspaper columnist Mike Levine of Middletown, New York which had come in 38threpeated a slur in his column (attributed to Paul Newman) that Bridgeport is "the armpit of New England." [10]

City's budget woes

In April 1988, the city experienced a $24.4 million budget deficit, and Bucci proposed an 18-19% tax increase in an attempt to help the city with its financial straits. [11]

In 1988, the City of Bridgeport agreed to let the State of Connecticut monitor city finances in exchange for a "bailout" of $58.3 million in state-backed bonds for deficit relief. [9] [12]


On June 6, 1991, the City of Bridgeport (then under Bucci's successor, Mayor Mary Moran) filed a Chapter 9 petition (municipal bankruptcy) in U.S. bankruptcy court. [12] The city faced a $12 million gap in its fiscal year 1991-92 budget of $304 million. [12] The Bridgeport Financial Review Board immediately passed a resolution blocking the city from seeking bankruptcy protection and adopted a $319 budget for the city, ordering an 18% increase in property taxes. Bucci warned at the time that steep declines in property values could occur in the city. [12]

Census of 1990

Bucci was mayor during the 1990 United States Census, where he sought to ensure that the homeless were included in the count. [13]

L'Ambiance Plaza disaster

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on April 23, 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when the sixteen storey L'Ambiance Plaza building project collapsed. [14] Bucci was quoted as saying "It's a sight out of Beirut, Lebanon." [15]

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  1. 1 2
  2. Michael P. Mayko, In the end, Finch held all the cards in Bridgeport primary race, Connecticut Post (September 28, 2011).
  3. Bob Conrad, Old Hawk Spurns the Duke, The Hour (September 24, 1988).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Thomas W. Bucci, Partner, Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. (accessed April 2, 2016).
  5. Paul Zielbauer, UConn Officials Consider Dismissing a Professor Accused of Threats and Bad Behavior, New York Times (January 12, 2002).
  6. Judd Everhart, Paoletta Wins Bridgeport Primary; Dagon Is Routed in East Hartford, Associated Press (September 11, 1985).
  7. Thirty years on, a Steel Point reunion, Connecticut Post (May 16, 2015).
  8. Legislator in Hartford Wins Primary for Mayor, Associated Press (September 16, 1987).
  9. 1 2 The 1989 Elections: Connecticut: New Haven Picks First Black Mayor, New York Times (November 8, 1989).
  10. "Essay Brings 'Armpit of New England' to Its Sneeze". Los Angeles Times. 1986-07-05. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  11. Bucci offers huge tax increase to cure crisis, Associated Press (April 6, 1988).
  12. 1 2 3 4 Connecticut to Fight Bridgeport mayor on bankruptcy petition, Associated Press (June 8, 1991).
  13. '90 Census Will Count the Homeless, Associated Press (January 29, 1989).
  14. Meg Barone (2010-04-23). "23 years later, L'Ambiance losses still sting". Connecticut Post.
  15. Connecticut Disasters: True Stories ... - Google Books. Retrieved 2010-12-24.