Jury gets Hartford mayor corruption case

June 16, 2010 at 9:09 PM
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HARTFORD, Conn., June 16 (UPI) -- The jury began deliberating Wednesday in the corruption trial of Hartford, Conn., Mayor Eddie Perez, whose attorney conceded liked to an investigator.

The jury did not reach a verdict by the end of the day and will resume deliberation Thursday, the Hartford Courant reported.

Defense attorney Hubert Santos told the jury in summation Wednesday Perez sometimes used bad judgment but rejected prosecution claims the mayor was guilty of corruption. Prosecutors said the mayor abused his power, accepting free home remodeling and attempting to extort a payoff, the newspaper reported.

Perez is charged with receiving bribes, fabricating evidence, conspiracy and attempted larceny by extortion. He was arrested in January 2009 and charged with receiving a bribe from city contractor Carlos Costa in the form of home improvements. WFSB-TV, Hartford, reported.

An arrest warrant affidavit alleges Costa said he didn't expect to get paid for the home improvements because that was the "cost of me doing business with the city."

Warrants say Perez frequently helped Costa, such as by urging city workers to pay Costa's bills more rapidly than other municipal contractors, WFSB-TV said.

Perez was arrested again in September and charged, with former state Rep. Abe Giles, with attempting to extort $250,000 from developer Joseph Citino who was looking to buy city-owned property.

A criminal case is pending against Giles, who has denied the charges, WFSB-TV said.

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