Where is Eddie Perez?
People in Hartford are wondering what became of the former mayor after his conviction on bribery charges and if he has begun to serve his three-year prison term.
"Big question mark. We're all wondering," said Deborah Gaston of Hartford.
A friend of Perez who spoke with Eyewitness News off camera said Perez has consulted for AIDS Project in Hartford and other organizations.
He's still living on Bloomfield Avenue after trying to sell the property unsuccessfully, even with the new marble countertops and bathroom work that sparked the corruption investigation involving him.
Perez was convicted of receiving a bribe in the form of home improvements from a city contractor and trying to extort money from a developer.
Perez is appealing the convictions that were reached in one trial on June 18, 2010.
His lawyers say the move by a judge to merge the bribery and extortion cases into one trial was unfair because Perez wanted to testify in the bribery case but not the extortion case.
The former mayor has filed his briefs to the Appellate Court. State prosecutors must file theirs by April 18.
Since the Perez conviction, there are two cases that have made their way through the state Supreme Court that could benefit him.
In its appeal, the Perez team cited State vs. Gupta, where the court ruled three sex assault cases against a Woodbridge doctor were improperly joined.
There's also a similar, more recent case, State vs. Payne that Eyewitness News legal expert Steven Seligman believes will be cited as well.
"If I'm Eddie Perez, the two recent decisions have to give me more cause for optimism than pessimism, but neither one of them is a get-out-of-jail-free card," he said.
The appeal could go on another 18 months or longer, Seligman estimates.
And if the former mayor's convictions are overturned, Seligman believes the state will not just walk away.
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