Two More Jurors Picked In Trial of Hartford Mayor

Two more jurors were selected Monday in the corruption trial of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.

Juror No. 3 is a a Cuban-born female from Hartford.  She is also an Army veteran and a rape victim, reports the Hartford Courant.

Juror No. 4 is a while female from South Windsor, a former customer-service worker who is now unemployed.

Two jurors were picked on Monday.  Two more regular jurors and three alternates must still be selected.

Perez, 53, is charged with receiving a bribe, fabricating evidence and conspiracy to fabricate evidence.  He is accused of accepting free or discounted work on his home from a developer, Carlos Costa, who received millions of dollars in city contracts.

The felony corruption trial is set to start May 12,  It is expected to run about 6 weeks.

Perez is also facing larceny charges.  He is accused of allowing a political power broker Abraham Giles to operate parking lots at bargain rents. In return, prosecutors claim Perez threw his poitical support behind the mayor.

Hours after leaving the first day of jury selection in his bribery trial, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez headed to City Hall on Monday night to face another challenge.

Councilman Larry Deutsch wanted to introduce a resolution at the meeting that called for Council President Pedro Segarra to be named acting mayor, while Mayor Perez stands trial.

 "It's not political. It's, we need somebody to the do the job full time," Alyssa Peterson, of Hartford, said.

"Council members, if the mayor cannot do the job, you guys need to do something," Hyacinth Yennie, of Hartford, said.

Councilman Calixto Torres voted against adding what he called the "last-minute" resolution to the agenda.

"Timing and because I don't see that the mayor has missed a beat thus far, and I prefer to wait and see if he can continue to do the work that he's done so far," Torres said.

Some council members said they would like to have an outside lawyer review the resolution before voting on it.

Deutsch said he would make changes to the resolution, if necessary. He said he plans to resubmit it with enough time for it to be on the next City Council meeting agenda April 26. 

 "You have to look at the reality that business is not going to be done," Brookman said.

But Perez also had several supporters in the audience.

 "Despite what he says, the mayor can't give his full attention to all this budget and other issues coming up," Deutsch said.

He tried to get the resolution added to the agenda, but he needed a two-thirds vote, or six votes, for that to happen.

With five votes in favor of adding the resolution, and four against, the Deutsch failed to get the six votes necessary for the resolution to be considered.

But the idea of Perez stepping aside was the most talked about topic during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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