Former Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez and his wife Maria left his appeals hearing saying only, that “It’s in the Lord’s hands.” Perez who was convicted in June 2010 of receiving a bribe, being an accessory to the fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to fabricate evidence, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion was sentenced in September 2010 to three years in prison. His attorneys filed an appeal shortly afterward.
Perez, the first Latino mayor of a major city in in the Northeast, has been free on bond since his conviction. He resigned from the city’s top post a week after the verdict and is now seeking that the convictions to be reversed, and that he receive two new, separate trials.
The Hartford Courant reports Perez’s attorney Hubert J. Santos and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Harry D. Weller each had 20 minutes Tuesday to argue their sides of the appeal. After the hearing, Chief Appellate Court Judge Alexandra Davis DiPentima, Appellate Court Judge Douglas S. Lavine and Judge Trial Referee Thomas A. Bishop, a former Appellate Court judge, who heard the case, will vote on the case behind closed doors and issue a written judgment.
Perez was convicted of accepting discounted home-improvement work from a city contractor, Carlos Costa, in exchange for Perez’s help in holding on to a $5.3 million contract to reconstruct Park Street. Santos told the judges at the appeals hearing that evidence from both cases were shown to the jury during the course of a single trial, destroying Perez’s credibility.
Photo by Wayne Jebian