The Hartford City Council has approved the naming of a city corner after Abe Giles -- a city politician who died last year. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Giles is a man remembered for his years in politics -- and for the corruption scandal that brought down a city mayor.
Giles was a once a state representative from the city's North End, perhaps its poorest neighborhood. And to hear him tell it, his career in politics was all about helping people.
He was also a central figure in the corruption scandal that led to the demise of former Mayor Eddie Perez. In that case, Giles was alleged to have tried to extort $100,000 from a city developer. He eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and avoided jail time.
But despite the charges that marked the last years of Giles' life, members of the Hartford city council say they choose to focus on the more positive parts of his political career. So they recently voted to rename the corner of Main and Windsor Streets Abraham L. Giles Way.
Mayor Pedro Segarra must still approve the measure. Jared Kupiec is his chief of staff.
"It's a very difficult issue, because you have an individual who certainly committed an awful lot to the city of Hartford and its residents."
But, Kupiec says, Giles also ended that same political career in a criminal courtroom.