Attorneys For Perez Marshal Hundreds Of Letters Of Support
By JENNA CARLESSO
September 13, 2010
HARTFORD — — As former Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez prepares to face sentencing on corruption charges Tuesday, his attorneys have given a judge more than 200 letters of support from friends, family and colleagues describing his civic contributions and accomplishments over the years.
The former mayor's attorneys have also submitted examples of more than 100 awards and certificates Perez received during his career.
The letters, which describe Perez's background in social work and his family life, were given to Judge Julia D. Dewey on Friday.
"Notwithstanding the jury's verdict in this case, Mr. Perez's life has been defined by hard work, integrity and honesty," the mayor's attorneys, Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley, wrote in their sentencing memorandum. "The jury's verdict in finding Mr. Perez guilty in these cases is in sharp contrast to his outstanding history, character and background."
In one letter, Perez's wife, Maria, asks Dewey for leniency.
"I will just fall apart. He is an honest man who has devoted his life to his family and community and deserves leniency. Please, please, please do not send him to prison," she wrote.
Hartford City Councilman Calixto Torres describes Perez as a "humble and modest man" in his letter.
"He is a loving husband, father and grandfather," Torres wrote. "Please take into consideration that Eddie A. Perez has been an outstanding contributor to bettering the lives of so many. Because of him, the city is a better place to live."
Hartford school Superintendent Steven Adamowski wrote: "The Eddie Perez I know is one of the hardest working and dedicated public servants that I have worked for in 37 years in education leadership in four states. He literally lived and breathed his leadership role in government and was always there for Hartford's students and families."
Perez was convicted in June of five felonies, including bribery and extortion. He could face up to 55 years in prison, though the sentence will probably be less than that.
Prosecutors charged that Perez accepted discounted home improvement work from city contractor Carlos Costa, who they said needed Perez's help to hold on to a $5.3 million contract to reconstruct Park Street, a job plagued by delays and shoddy work.
The prosecution also asserted that Perez wanted North End politician Abraham Giles to be paid off to vacate a parking lot that was on a sliver of land crucial to a developer's plans for a condo and shopping center.
Perez, 52, has maintained his innocence and said he will appeal.
He resigned from the city's top post on June 25.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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