Former State Representative Abraham Giles pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors but got no jail time for his role in the corruption case of former Mayor Eddie Perez. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports.
The attorney for the 84-year-old Giles said his client was in poor health and had just spent a week in the hospital. For his part, Giles said very little in court other than this:
Clerk: What is your plea, guilty or not guilty?
Giles was a city politician whose interest in a local land deal put him at the center of the state’s multi-year investigation of Perez. Perez was found guilty this summer and was sentenced to three years in prison. He is free pending an appeal.
The state says Giles and Perez tried to extort $100,000 from a city developer. The developer, Joseph Citino, wanted to buy the now-demolished Butt Ugly Building in downtown Hartford. Prosecutor Christoper Alexy:
“However, Mayor Perez indicated to Mr. Citino that he would have to satisfy Mr. Giles in order for the project to go through.”
Giles operated an adjacent city-owned parking lot that Citino also wanted to buy. The deal would have put money in Giles’ pocket; in exchange, the state says Giles was to give his political support to Perez.
Prosecutors initially charged Giles with two felonies that could have gotten him a total of 40 years in prison. But given Giles’ age and his health, the state allowed him to plead guilty to two misdemeanors and get a six-month suspended sentence with no jail time at all. Giles also has to pay $500 to the state’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
After the hearing, Giles’ attorney, John Kelly,said he was ready to go to trial next month until the state made an offer too good to refuse.
“He said, ‘I do not want to die a convicted felon.’ I said, ‘I understand that, and it won’t happen.’”
John Kardaras is Giles' personal attorney.
“I don’t believe that Abe believes he committed an offense. But under all of the circumstances, he’s not unhappy with the results.”
The only remaining defendant in the Perez case is Carlos Costa – the city contractor who did deeply discounted work on Perez’s home. His next scheduled court date is in February.