Judge Says No Dismissal for Mayor Perez

A Hartford Superior Court judge Tuesday morning has denied Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez's motion to dismiss the charges against him.

Perez, 51, was arrested in January and has pleaded not guilty to bribery and evidence fabrication charges. Jury selection on the case could begin in September. A trial is set to begin in October.

Prosecutors say Perez steered city work to Carlos Costa, a contractor who had performed discount work on his home. Costa was also arrested and, like Perez, has pleaded not guilty.
Costa, who charged the mayor roughly $20,000 for what Costa said was $40,000 worth of kitchen and bathroom work, said he never expected to get paid.

Perez said he always intended to pay, although he didn't do so until investigators began their work.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Perez's attorney was expected to try to prove the state knowingly left information out of the arrest warrant.

Perez argued in his motion to dismiss that grand jury testimony contradicted the state's allegations. The motion says the testimony actually backed up the mayor's contention that he always intended to pay for the renovations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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