The Allegations Against Perez and Lazu

Following is what is alleged in the arrest warrant affidavits:

An investigatory grand jury was created on Oct. 24, 2007, “to focus on corruption and the misuse of public funds in the government of the City of Hartford and its activities and dealings with persons or firms doing business with the city.”

USA Contractors, Inc., a contractor that had city contracts worth several million dollars, at Mayor Eddie Perez’s request did home improvement work at the mayor’s Hartford residence.

The work was valued at approximately $40,000.

It was completed in August 2005, but officials said Perez paid only $20,217 for it - and not until July 2007, almost two years later and only after the mayor was confronted about the matter by Public Integrity Bureau Inspectors, the warrant alleges.

No building permits were obtained until after the investigation had begun and Perez requested and received a fraudulent billing statement that did not include all of the costs for the work and materials.

Perez requested the bill after he became aware of questions circulating in the community about whether he had paid for the work, the warrants state.

The investigation found “numerous instances where Mayor Perez apparently intervened in matters to benefit Carlos Costa or Carlos Costa obtained assistance from Mayor Perez to benefit himself (Costa),” according to the warrants.

Costa was approached by the Mayor and did not expect to be paid for the renovation work, according to the warrants.

Costa believed he would have been “’black balled’ as a contractor in the City” if he had not done the work for free, the warrants state.

The arrest warrants allege that Lazu, a city employee involved in the process of certifying that USA Contractors, Inc., was eligible to receive certain city contracts, had work valued at a minimum of approximately $2,600 done by USA Contractors to the driveway and sidewalk at his Hartford home.

Lazu claimed he hired USA Contractors and paid $1,100 for the work. Costa testified that he did not charge for the work or receive any payment, all of which he considered “the cost of doing business” in Hartford.

Costa further testified that Lazu requested a cash receipt for $1,000 after Lazu was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury, which Costa said he refused to provide, the warrants state.

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