Hartford Council OKs Plan To Name Street Corner After Abraham Giles
By JENNA CARLESSO
August 13, 2012
HARTFORD —— The intersection of Main and Windsor streets will soon be known as "Abraham Giles Way."
The city council on Monday approved a proposal to name the street corner after the controversial politician, who died last year at age 84.
Giles, an eight-term state representative, was known by his supporters as a man who cared deeply for the community. But to others, he was a dealmaker who always seemed to be in the news for the wrong reasons.
He made headlines in 2010 after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors in connection with the corruption investigation that ensnared former Mayor Eddie Perez. Under the terms of Giles' plea agreement, he did not receive jail time.
Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, would offered the proposal, has said that the conflicting sides of Giles' legacy didn't dissuade her from wanting to name the street corner after him.
In April, dozens of supporters packed a hearing room at city hall to speak in favor of the plan. Several people said that his good deeds outweighed any negatives. They urged the council to pass the resolution.
Giles was born in 1926 and raised in a working-class section of Savannah, Ga. He moved to Hartford in 1956 in search of work, landing a job in the stock room of a local typewriter factory and later as a laborer with a construction company.
In 1972, he was elected state representative for the 4th House District — at the time, covering a large portion of the city's North End — after defeating incumbent Leonard G. Frazier in the Democratic primary. He survived subsequent primaries through what some described as old-school ward politics.
Giles' run in the legislature ended in 1988 when he was defeated by Maria Sanchez. He ran again in 1990 after Sanchez died, but lost in a special election to Edna N. Negron.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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