According to the Courant, Hartford Mayor Edward Perez will join a long line of Connecticut politicians when he is arrested as a result of a 15 month grand jury investigation into bribery. The contractor that performed $20,000 worth of kitchen and bathroom remodeling work was already arrested in connection with the case. The Courant reports:
Perez said he has no plan to resign or temporarily step down while he faces the charges brought by the chief state’s attorney’s office in Superior Court. Santos said he did not know whether more charges were forthcoming.
State criminal investigators have been interested in Perez since early 2007, when news first surfaced about a controversial, no-bid parking lot deal the city gave to former state Rep. Abraham L. Giles. In October 2007, their interest was formalized with the formation of a state investigatory grand jury — a secretive court body led by one judge and with the power of subpoena.
That grand jury has since seen two extensions and is set to expire in April. But while the investigators’ interest is known to have expanded well beyond the work done on Perez’s home, it’s that work that has landed him in legal jeopardy.
State criminal investigators searched Perez’s home on a mid-August day in 2007. Two days later, on Aug. 16, Perez admitted that he had hired a city contractor to do what he said was $20,000 in kitchen and bathroom renovations. The work was done without proper permits and some of the work was done by an unlicensed contractor.
Costa completed most of the work in 2006, and Perez said he looked into a mortgage to pay for the work in 2006. But it wasn’t until early 2007 that Costa billed him $20,217, Perez said. He said he paid Costa in July 2007 — after investigators had begun asking questions.
Reached in his office Monday, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane declined to comment.
Gerace said he has told Costa, his client, not to worry.
“I feel that Carlos is in a great position to prevail here, and I’ve told him not to worry,” Gerace said. “His conduct was minimally offensive in the whole scheme of things.”
Santos said he will seek a speedy trial that could bring the mayor before a jury within to two to three months.
Connecticut once again earns its reputation as Corrupticut. The issue in short is that Perez hired a city contractor to do work on his home around the same time that the contractor was having trouble completing a $5 million Park Street streetscape job. See the timeline here. Forget about the part where the billingon the project in Perez’s home was delayed. Forget about whether the contractor even had teh necessary licences to perform the work. Forget about the lack of permits filed to even do the work in Perez’s home. Hiring a city contractor to do work, with no documentation, is the problem here.
source: Courant, Hartford Mayor Perez Facing Bribery Charges, Will Turn Himself In Today, By JEFFREY B. COHEN And MARK PAZNIOKAS, January 26, 2009