HARTFORD — A 29-year-old office manager from Simsbury was chosen Wednesday as the second alternate juror to serve on the panel that will hear the corruption case against Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez.
With the selection of the Simsbury woman, who was acceptable to both state prosecutors and Perez's defense team, six jurors and two alternates have been impaneled in the case. The lawyers have one more alternate juror to choose.
Alternates will be chosen by lot to replace regular jurors if, for some reason during the trial, a juror is excused from duty.
The mayor's felony corruption trial is scheduled to start next month.
Perez, 53, a three-term mayor, is charged with receiving a bribe, fabricating physical evidence and conspiracy to fabricate physical evidence. He is accused of accepting free or deeply discounted work on his home from a developer — family friend Carlos Costa — who has received millions of dollars in city contracts.
The arrest warrant charges that Perez paid about $20,000 for an estimated $40,000 worth of home improvement work from Costa, writing a check to Costa nearly two years after the work was done. The payment immediately followed his first interview with investigators, in which Perez said that he had already paid Costa, the warrant says.
Perez also is charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and coercion for allegedly allowing city political power broker Abraham Giles to maintain lucrative parking-lot deals without valid city contracts. In return, the warrant charges, Giles, a former Perez adversary, agreed to support the mayor.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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