Hartford Mayor Perez Pleads Not Guilty To Latest Charges
JEFFREY B. COHEN
September 12, 2009
Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez, arrested last week in connection with a state corruption probe at city hall, pleaded not guilty Friday morning to attempted extortion and a related conspiracy charge at Superior Court in Hartford.
Also Friday, state prosecutors asked Superior Court Judge Julia Dewey to combine the charges against Perez stemming from two separate arrests — one last week, the other in January — into one trial.
Prosecutors say Perez, in his 2007 race for mayor, attempted to extort money from a private developer for the benefit of political ally Abraham L. Giles. In return, Giles could have brought Perez votes, prosecutors alleged.
In January, Perez was accused of trading his influence at city hall for discounted work on his Bloomfield Avenue home.
The judge scheduled a hearing on the matter for October. Perez has until Oct. 5 to respond to the motion.
In addition to Perez, three others are facing charges in connection with the corruption probe: Giles, a former Hartford state representative; city Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson; and Farmington businessman Carlos Lopez. The four were arrested last week on charges that arose from an 18-month secret state investigation into allegations of corruption at city hall.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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