A jury in Hartford, CT found former gang member and community organizer turned Hartford mayor Eddie Perez guilty on five of six felony counts today, including bribery, extortion and fabricating evidence.
Perez, who spent his formative years as a member of the Puerto Rican gang Ghetto Brothers, would go on to become a community organizer and be elected as Hartford's first Hispanic mayor in 2001, running as a Democrat [as detailed as the Hartford Courant's articles are on Perez's corruption case, they seldom mention his or his accomplices political affiliation- NANESB!]
In 2007, Perez had his home remodeled by contractor Carlos Costa for no charge in exchange for Perez directing city contracts his way. In September 2009, Perez was arrested on extortion related charges in a separate incident where Perez and an influential supporter, Abraham Giles, tried extorting $100,000 from a developer over a no-bid parking lot deal.
Throughout the trial, Perez was advised not take the stand himself. Sentencing is set to take place in September, although there is no official word yet on whether or not Perez will step down as mayor between now and then. It's also worth mentioning that this fine, upstanding community activist and leader is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.
There was also this from after the verdict was announced:
[Perez] was asked if he had anything to say to the community, and he said "yes we can" in Spanish.As Samuel Johnson once said "
UPDATE: Perez will resign.