An attorney for former Mayor Eddie Perez said the city owes Perez potentially thousands of dollars for unused sick and vacation time.
In a letter addressed to the city's director of Human Resources, attorney R. Bartley Halloran said the former mayor -- who was convicted of five felony corruption charges and later sentenced to three years in prison -- is owed for as many as 1,216 hours of vacation time and 768 hours of sick time. Those hours were disclosed on Perez's pay stubs.
Halloran said Wednesday, however, that it is still unclear how many hours of vacation and sick time Perez actually took while working the city's top job. The figures listed on Perez's pay stubs are the total number of hours Perez was allotted, not what he actually took.
Perez's hourly rate as mayor was $66.88 per hour, Halloran wrote in his letter to the city. If Perez had taken no vacation or sick time, he would be owed more than $132,000.
Halloran has asked the city to turn over all documents relating to the former mayor's sick and vacation time and pension. Those documents could include calendars, e-mails and letters, he said.
He also has asked Perez to retrieve any documentation he may have kept relating to his sick and vacation time.
"The difficulty of resolving this is trying to establish exactly how many days of vacation and sick time he took," Halloran said. "The issue is not over whether or not money is owed, it's how much. All he wants is what is owed to him -- not a penny more and not a penny less."
Halloran said that due to the nature of the job, it is likely that Perez didn't take many vacation and sick days.
"He really didn't take much of anything. He's not a vacation type of guy," Halloran said. "He was the head of the board of education and he was the mayor. The job was his life."
Saundra Kee Borges, the city's corporation counsel, said her office is in the process of gathering documents that reflect how much vacation and sick time Perez took. She and Halloran both said the case will probably go to arbitration, though a date has not yet been scheduled.
Kee Borges said the city pays 100 percent of accrued vacation time, but it's likely a lesser amount for unused sick time. Figures for how much the city pays in sick time were not immediately available.
Santiago Malave, Hartford's director of Human Resources, said Perez has not been paid for any unused sick or vacation time.
Perez resigned from his post a week after his conviction in June. Then-city Council President Pedro Segarra has replaced him.
Segarra said Wednesday that he refused to comply with the demand for payment because information contained in the request was "not verifiable."
"The city of Hartford, and I as mayor, cannot afford to be misled," Segarra said in a written statement, "and that's why I have instructed the Office of Corporation Counsel to work with the Human Resources Department to review and closely analyze any and all documentation provided by Mr. Perez or his attorney and to take this matter to arbitration to ensure that the residents' interests are properly protected."
State Rep. Kelvin Roldan, a Perez ally, said the former mayor "should be paid no more than what he is legally owed" from the city. Asked if the city should pay Perez at all, he repeated that Perez should get no more than what is legally owed. He didn't comment further.
City Councilman Kenneth Kennedy said although Perez has a right to request payment for unused sick and vacation time, the city shouldn't compensate him because of his criminal conviction.
"I think a lot of people are like 'you've got to be kidding me,'" Kennedy said. "He had a criminal conviction. I think it would have been tasteful if [Perez] hadn't made that request."
To view correspondence between Halloran and the city, click in the Related Links Box.