3-Judge Panel May Enter Debate Over Sealed Report In Perez Probe
JEFFREY B. COHEN
August 05, 2009
HARTFORD - The three-judge panel that oversees state criminal grand juries wants to enter the debate over whether to keep sealed the final report in the investigation of Mayor Eddie A. Perez.
The state Supreme Court heard arguments last week from state prosecutors and defense attorneys, who want the report sealed, and from attorneys for The Courant, which wants the report released.
A key question of the arguments: Is the public best served by knowing all there is to know about the findings at the end of a secret investigation, or by knowing less?
The grand jury panel is represented by the firm Rome McGuigan, which also represented several city employees before the grand jury itself.
In the panel's motion, attorney Glenn Coe said the panel thinks that grand jury secrecy is in the public's interest, because the grand jury system depends on it.
Attorneys for The Courant have opposed the panel's motion. It is unclear when the court will rule on the panel's motion, or on the broader case at hand.
The final report of the state's investigation of Perez, run by grand juror and Superior Court Judge Dennis Eveleigh, was submitted in late June. Since then, the question has been whether to release it. No arrests have been made based on the final report.
Perez was arrested in January 2009 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 city contractor Carlos Costa. Costa was also arrested and has pleaded not guilty. Jury selection for Perez's trial is scheduled to begin in September.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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