Overturned corruption convictions upheld for former Hartford may - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Overturned corruption convictions upheld for former Hartford mayor

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Former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez during a previous court appearance. (WFSB file photo) Former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez during a previous court appearance. (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The state Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the state's appellate court to reverse corruption convictions of a former Hartford mayor.

Eddie Perez was convicted of bribery and extortion in 2010.

The two cases were combined into a single trial, which led to those convictions being overturned by a three-judge panel in 2013. Five felony convictions were overturned in all.

Perez's lawyer Hubert Santos argued that there should have been separate trials.

"Of course we disagreed with that. We thought that ended with Mr. Perez defending himself with one arm tied behind his back," said Santos.

The court ruled back then that jurors were confused by the complex nature of the trial.

Perez was also unable to testify at the trial.

He had been found guilty of taking a $20,000 bribe in kitchen and bath improvements from a city contractor and for trying to extort money from a developer.

He received a 3 year sentence; however, he remained free on bond.

Some are concerned that a new trial will be costly.

Criminal attorney Michael Georgetti, who is unaffiliated with the case, said those concerns may be warranted.

"I would suspect the cost of the trial, cost of all the appeals--we're looking at seven figures," said Georgetti.

He said the decision for a single trial was originally made to save money.

"(The) court made a decision that in the interest of judicial economy the cases should be tried together. Supreme Court said when you look at judicial economy you have to balance it against the defendants rights," said Georgetti.

The state's attorney plans to retry the case at Hartford Superior Court.

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