Mayor's Trial Date Picked, Success Questions Mount

Mayor Perez is heading to trial in October and some scuttlebutt is brewing over who would replace him should things not go well for the man who runs the state’s capital city. 

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez is embroiled in a corruption scandal over $40,000 worth of work done on his house by Carlos Costa, a city contractor. The problem, according to accusations, was that it was done at a deep discount.

Perez pleaded not guilty in January to receiving a bribe, fabricating evidence and conspiring to fabricate evidence. Thursday, Perez’s lawyer spent a little time with prosecutors and a Superior Court judge and determined when the trial would be.

Jury selection will begin in September, according to Perez’s lawyer, Hubert Santos, and the trial would happen in October.

On the matter of who should run the city if Perez was, well, a ward of the state, Hartford Republicans are trying to get some clarification, the Hartford Courant reports.

The Republicans, who are in the minority on city council, want to make sure they are well-positioned if a new mayor is needed.
City charter says that should the mayor’s office becomes vacant, the city council president would serve as mayor “until the next regularly scheduled municipal general election, or, if not permitted by the remainder of the mayor’s term,” the Courant reports.

The city council president is Calixto Torres. Last month, three council members called on him to resign because of his close relationship with Mayor Perez. He say, no.
Republican Town Committee Chairman Mike McGarry has penned a little request to Corporation Counsel John Rose asking him to clarify whether the board of education election Nov. 3 would qualify as the “next regularly scheduled municipal general election.”

Rose’s answer? It would, according to the Hartford Courant.

But that’s not all. McGarry also asked Wareing to add clearer language about mayoral succession, including changing language in the charter that would classify a mayor as "permanently absent or disabled" if he is convicted of a felony, among other things, the Courant reports.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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