Hartford, CT Mayor Surrenders in Corruption Probe
JEFFREY B. COHEN | The Hartford Courant via YellowBrix
September 02, 2009
HARTFORD – Surrounded by cheering supporters in city hall this afternoon, Mayor Eddie A. Perez said "Truth is on my side. I committed no crime. I will be vindicated of all the charges that have been levied against me.
“I want my day in court.”
Perez earlier had turned himself in at the Troop H state police barracks in Hartford.
According to the chief state’s attorney’s office, Perez is charged with one count of criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree by extortion and one count of conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree by extortion.
According to the chief state’s attorney’s office, Perez and former state Rep. Abraham Giles are “accused of engaging in a scheme to extort money from an individual seeking to develop adjoining properties at 1161 and 1143 Main St.”
This marks the second time in a year that Perez, a Democrat, has been arrested.
At the press conference, Perez said “The job the voters elected me to do is not over. To the people of this great city, I want to make it very clear that I will remain as your mayor.”
Investigators have said in court documents that it was an early 2007 Courant story about a no-bid parking lot deal that the city gave to Giles that first stirred their interest.
Investigators also pointed to a Courant story two months later that spelled out how Giles stood to get $100,000 from a land deal involving a private developer and the city. That deal, involving a building known as the “Butt Ugly Building,” never went through.
It’s unclear how these new charges will affect Perez’s pending trial on bribery and other charges relating to allegedly discounted work done at the mayor’s home by city contractor Carlos Costa. Both men have pleaded not guilty; jury selection is scheduled to begin in Perez’s trial next week.