|Mayor Eddie Perez is is charged with extortion
Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, a former gangbanger turned thrice-elected boss of Connecticut’s largest city, seems to have never left The Life behind. In January, he was charged with trading favors to a city contractor in exchange for improvements on his home. Today he was arraigned on new charges of extortion.
Prosecutors say the mayor tried to shake down developer Joseph Citino, who wanted to purchase city-owned property. The problem, say police, is that Perez’s pal, former state Rep. Abraham Giles, already had a sweet scam running on that property. Giles was leasing the land from the city $500 a month, then turning around and subleasing it to a parking company for $2,250
a month. If Citino wanted the property, he was going to have to kick Perez and Giles $250,000 to make it happen.
The mayor steadfastly maintains his innocence on both charges. He even wrote an opinion piece for the Hartford Courant titled “Why I Won’t Resign.” Giles, meanwhile, is busting out the age card. “I have a very difficult time conceiving of how an 83-year-old man extorts anyone,” says his lawyer, John Kelly.