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Hartford Councilwoman Gets Special Form Of Probation

Was arrested in 2009 with former Mayor Eddie Perez

Jeff ohen

October 21, 2010

Hartford City Councilwoman Veronica Airey-Wilson was granted a special form of probation today. She was arrested with former Mayor Eddie Perez last year and charged with faking payment to a city contractor for work done on her home. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports.

Airey-Wilson has served on the city council for nearly 20 years. In court, she says she sent a $420 check to contractor Carlos Costa for granite countertops he put in her kitchen pantry. But Costa -- who also did deeply discounted work at Perez's home -- says he never got the check and that the work was worth more like $1,500. And as for the check that Airey-Wilson used as proof that she paid? The state says she faked it.

It was the job of Judge Julia Dewey to figure out whether to grant Airey-Wilson's request for a special probation called accelerated rehabilitation. To do that, she had to ask two questions.

Dewey: In all of this, what is your biggest regret? I need to know.

Airey-Wilson: My biggest regret is that I guess I'm so open and trusting of everyone and in my choice of selecting someone to do the work in my home.

Dewey: From your perspective, what was the worst that happened because of this incident?

Airey-Wilson: The humiliation and shame.

It was that acknowledgment of the loss of public face -- both for Airey-Wilson and for her community -- that got Dewey's attention.

Dewey: You got it. You understood what the problem was. That the public viewed its servants in a less-than-kind light, and that's unacceptable. So it was almost like the 20 years you did could have been down the drain for one stupid granite countertop.

Dewey gave Airey-Wilson three months of probation and ordered her to pay $420 to the state's victim restitution fund. The state did not oppose the probation.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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