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Mayor Perez Pleads Not Guilty
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Hartford mayor Eddie Perez pled not guilty to charges of bribery and fabricating evidence on Tuesday, and his attorney made clear he wants to move swiftly onto a trial. 

Perez did not speak during his 5-minute arraignment in Superior Court, but his lawyer Hubert Santos told Judge Julia Dewey that the mayor wants to get right to fighting the charges against him.

"We would ask for an immediate trial, your honor. We're prepared to go to trial today."

But state prosecutor Christopher Alexy told the judge that the state has amassed a dozen bankers boxes of evidence that he thinks the defense may want to review before trial.

Judge Dewey agreed, and asked both sides to work with a court scheduler to set a "realistic date" for trial. She scheduled a pretrial conference for March 3. 

Mayor Eddie Perez was arrested last week after a more than a year-long grand jury investigation. State prosecutors allege that Perez took a bribe when he had a city contractor renovate his home in 2005.

Perez did not pay for the work until two years later, after investigators questioned him about it. Prosecutors say that $20,000 payment only covered about half of the value of the kitchen and bathroom upgrades.

Perez has apologized for hiring the city contractor for work on his home, but denies that he broke any law. He says he has no plans to resign.