Eddie Perez Vacates Mayor's Office, But Should Leave School Board, Too
June 29, 2010
Eddie Perez finally did the right thing, resigning as Hartford's mayor effective at 5 p.m. last Friday. Now he must resign as a self-appointed member of the city's board of education.
Neither office should be occupied by a man convicted of public corruption.
Mr. Perez yielded mayoral power to Pedro E. Segarra, who had been city council president, and in a statement Friday, Mr. Perez extended an appropriate, humble apology.
He said he was "truly sorry for the mistakes I have made" and that he hoped to earn the forgiveness of the people of Hartford.
Mr. Perez's resignation as mayor and apology to the people whose city he disgraced should have come the week before, however. He should have resigned immediately after the Superior Court jury delivered its verdict finding him guilty of five of six felony charges, including receiving a bribe and attempted extortion.
Rather than doing the honorable thing immediately, he stayed on as mayor for several more days to negotiate his resignation and to assist in a "smooth transfer of power." Mr. Perez's presence wasn't needed. The transition would have been smoother without him.
Similarly, Mr. Perez's presence on the school board will be a distraction and set a bad example for students. The former mayor, who stepped down as school board chairman and chairman of its building committee in 2009 but stayed on the board, said in his apology statement that he had done his best to improve Hartford schools.
Stepping down immediately from the school board would be a good parting gift.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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