Former Hartford Mayor Perez's Appeal Scheduled For Feb. 19
January 18, 2013
HARTFORD --— Former Mayor Eddie Perez's appeal of his June 2010 convictions on bribery and other charges is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 10 a.m., according to an appellate court clerk.
Perez, 54, will appear in front of a three-judge panel, according to Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, spokeswoman for the Connecticut Judicial Branch. It is not yet known which judges will comprise the panel, she said.
Perez was found guilty in June 2010 of five felonies: receiving a bribe, being an accessory to the fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to fabricate evidence, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion. He was sentenced in September 2010 to three years in prison.
Perez, who is free on bond, resigned a week after the convictions.
Attorneys for the former mayor filed their final appellate brief in September, saying that Perez's two criminal cases -- one involving bribery and the other extortion -- should not have been consolidated into one trial. Attorneys also argue his convictions should be reversed and that he should get two new, separate trials.
Prosecutors charged that Perez accepted discounted home-improvement work from a city contractor, Carlos Costa, in exchange for Perez's help in connection with a $5.3 million contract to reconstruct Park Street.
Costa and other witnesses testified during the four-week trial that Perez assigned Charles Crocini, director of capital projects in the mayor's office, to run interference for Costa and try to settle $1.7 million in claims from Costa for extra payments beyond the contract price, even though public works officials and an expert consultant said that most of the claims lacked merit.
The prosecution also asserted that Perez wanted North End politician Abraham Giles to be paid to vacate a parking lot on a sliver of land crucial to a developer's plans for a condominium and shopping center.
Perez, elected as the city's first Hispanic mayor in 2001, maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Perez's attorneys, Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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