Eddie Perez (politician)
|Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut|
January 1, 2001 – June 25, 2010
|Preceded by||Michael P. Peters|
|Succeeded by||Pedro Segarra|
Corozal, Puerto Rico
|Alma mater||Capital Community-Technical College, Trinity College|
Eduardo Alberto "Eddie" Perez (born 1957) is a politician of Puerto Rican origin and former Mayor of Hartford, Connecticut. Prior to entering politics, Perez worked as a community activist. In 2007, Perez was brought before a grand jury to investigate charges of corruption, which resulted in the January 29, 2009, filing of a warrant for Perez's arrest on bribery, fabricating evidence, and conspiracy to fabricate evidence. On June 18, 2010, he was found guilty by a jury on 5 of 6 charges and he immediately resigned as mayor. On September 14, 2010, he was sentenced to eight years, suspended after three years, with three years in prison, to be followed by three years of probation.
Youth and early career 
Perez was born in Corozal, Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican family who would later move to the United States. Perez grew up in the North End of Hartford and was associated with the Ghetto Brothers, an organized crime syndicate.
In 1989, Trinity College appointed Perez as Director of Community Relations. In 1999, Perez became the President of the Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, an organization sponsored by Trinity College and Hartford Hospital.
Term as mayor and felony conviction 
Perez, a Democrat, was elected as the first Latino mayor of Hartford in 2001. Under 2002 changes to the city charter, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Hartford. He was re-elected in 2003. Since his tenure as mayor Perez has come under fire for alleged corruption, reported and uncovered by The Hartford Courant and reporters Daniel E. Goren and Jeffrey B. Cohen. However, he was endorsed by the Courant editorial board for re-election in 2007 and beat multiple opponents to win a primary and general election.
In summer 2007, Perez announced that his home had been searched by investigators probing work done on his home by a contractor who had received city business.
On January 27, 2009, an arrest warrant was filed for Perez's arrest on bribery, fabricating evidence, and conspiracy to fabricate evidence. The warrant, which credited The Hartford Courant for prompting the investigation, alleged that Perez had work done on his home by city contractor Carlos Costa, who was also arrested. Perez turned himself in to state police, stating that he had a lapse in judgment but did nothing illegal, and vowed that he would not step down as Hartford's mayor. His attorney alleged that the state had failed to even prove probable cause for his arrest.
His trial date was postponed to November 2009.
On September 2, 2009, Perez was arrested again on unrelated extortion charges stemming from a no-bid parking lot deal. He has vowed that he is innocent yet again and "will fight for the facts to come out, because the truth is on my side."
Even after his conviction by a jury on five of six felony charges, Perez claimed that he was innocent and vowed to appeal the conviction.
Felony prison sentencing 
Perez faced a maximum sentence of 55 years. A news story described his sentencing on September 14, 2010: "As he faced the judge, Perez asked her for mercy in the sentencing. The judge told Perez that no one can ignore the jury's verdict and that Perez is responsible for his actions." He was sentenced to eight years, suspended after three years, with three years in prison, to be followed by three years of probation.
Perez was listed as a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan anti-gun group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After his conviction, his membership status in the organization is not clear. As of September 14, 2010, there has been no announcement of his resignation from Mayors Against Illegal Guns. His successor as mayor, Pedro Segarra, is now listed as a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
- Bogstie, Debra (14 September 2010). "Eddie Perez to Serve 3 Years in Prison". NBC Connecticut. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Winter, Michael (2010-06-18). "Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez resigns after corruption conviction". USA Today.
- "Mr. Perez For Mayor". Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- "Six More Months For Perez Grand Jury". The Hartford Courant. 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- "Perez's Lawyer Criticizes State's Allegations". The Hartford Courant. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Statement By Mayor Eddie Perez". The Hartford Courant. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- "Defendant Perez's Memorandum In Support Of His Motion To Dismiss". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- Cohen, Jeffrey B. (2009-08-25). Trial For Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez To Be Delayed. The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
- Hartford Mayor Arrested, Again. NBC30.
- "Hartford mayor arraigned on extortion charge". USA Today. 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
- "Statement of Mayor Eddie A. Perez". City of Hartford. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
- "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members".
- About Hartford's Mayor. Hartford city government. Retrieved 2009-01-29.