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Judge Delays Hearing On Perez Inquiry

JEFFREY B. COHEN

July 14, 2009

NEW BRITAIN - A state court judge did not rule Monday on whether to release the long-awaited findings in the grand jury investigation of Mayor Eddie A. Perez, postponing the closed-door hearing in Superior Court in New Britain for a week. Meanwhile, The Courant sought to argue against keeping the document sealed by filing a motion to intervene. A hearing on that motion, in front of a different state court judge, is scheduled for Wednesday.

Perez was arrested in January and pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery, fabricating evidence and conspiracy to fabricate evidence relating to allegedly discounted work done on his home by a city contractor. His arrest, and the arrest of two others, was the product of a state investigatory grand jury one that lasted 18 months and ended about two months ago.

The question now before Superior Court Judge Dennis Eveleigh the lone grand juror in the case is whether his report should be made public seven days after he filed it, as mandated by state law.

At 9:30 a.m., when the hearing began, only people whose names appeared on a list held by a judicial marshal were allowed inside the courtroom.

Various lawyers representing people related to the grand jury were there, but none would comment on the proceedings. They included Hubert Santos, who represents the mayor; Stanley Twardy, whose firm Day Pitney LLP represents several city employees; and Richard Brown, who represents former city employee Edward Lazu, who also was arrested earlier this year in connection with the Perez probe.

Brown, though, said he was not in court Monday on Lazu's behalf. He would not, however, name his second client.

Also in court was Jack Kelly, a lawyer who represents Abraham L.

Giles the city politician whose no-bid deal with Perez to operate a city parking lot stirred the interest of state investigators in 2007 after it was reported in the Courant.

William Fish, a lawyer representing the Courant from the firm of Hinckley, Allen and Snyder LLP, was eventually allowed to file his motion to intervene. He argued that unsealing the report is in the public interest. That hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Next Monday, Eveleigh will again take up the matter of whether to unseal his final report.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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