Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez turned himself in Wednesday. It's the second time he's been arrested this year. This time, he faces charges of attempted extortion and conspiracy.
"I"ve committed no crime. And I will be vindicated....of all the charges that have been levied against me."
Mayor Perez spoke before a large crowd at Hartford City Hall, many of them were city employees and long time political supporters. Perez says he wants his day in court, and he repeated his statement from earlier this week that he will not resign. Perez already faces bribery charges in connection with a corruption probe into work done at his home by a city contractor. His attorney, Hubert Santos wants all charges dismissed.
"I had warned the prosecutors office that if they wanted to bring addl charges against the Mayor, why don't they wait until after the trial that's scheduled to begin on sept 9 is over. They refused. And what they did by their actions today was to deprive a citizen of Connecticut his right to a fair and speedy trial."
Santos is also filing a motion to hold the Chief State's Attorneys office, in contempt because parts of the sealed grand jury report were included in the arrest affadavit. Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane would not comment.
The arrest affidavit includes testimony from multiple people including former state representative, Abe Giles, who's been arrested on the same charges as Perez. The state had been investigating a no bid parking lot deal between the city and Giles. According to the affadavit, Giles may have been given special treatment. In return, Giles, would help Perez get votes from the North End to win the Democratic Town Committee endorsement in advance of the 2007 election. Perez and Giles dispute those claims.
Also arrested Wednesday was Hartford City Councilwoman Veronica Airey Wilson. She's charged with one count of Fabricating Evidence for indicating she paid for granite countertops installed at her home by the same city contractor that did work at Perez's home.