Hartford Mayor Convicted of Corruption Steps Down

Everton Bailey Jr., Google News, June 19, 2010

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez says he will step down as mayor while appealing his conviction on five corruption charges, including taking a bribe and attempted extortion.

Perez was convicted Friday in Connecticut and faces up to 60 years in prison, with each of the five counts carrying a minimum of one year in jail. The jury acquitted him of one count of tampering with evidence.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Perez issued a statement late Friday afternoon saying he did not feel it was in his best interests to continue as mayor during the appeal of my case.

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Perez is a one-time gang leader who escaped an impoverished childhood to become Hartford’s first Latino mayor.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)–A one-time gang leader who escaped an impoverished childhood to become Hartford’s first Latino mayor was convicted Friday of five corruption charges, including taking a bribe and attempted extortion.

Eddie Perez, who had insisted on his innocence and vowed to clear his name, faces up to 60 years in prison, with each of the five counts carrying a minimum of one year in jail. The six-person Hartford Superior Court jury acquitted him of one count of tampering with evidence. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Calls for Perez’s resignation came shortly after he was convicted of receiving a bribe, attempted first-degree larceny by extortion, accessory to evidence tampering and two conspiracy counts–all felonies. The jury delivered the verdicts after a six-week trial.

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