Hartford, Conn. (AP) - The Hartford City Council was asked to vote Monday night on aresolution temporarily removing Mayor Eddie Perez from officeduring his trial on corruption charges.
However city officials tell News Channel 8 the resolution was not put on the agenda ontime for the meeting.
So for now, there is no resolution.
Councilman Larry Deutsch planned to introduce the resolutionMonday night saying that because the Mayor is absent from work andunable to communicate by e-mail or phone during court sessions, hefalls under a city charter provision of temporary absence duringthe day.
Meanwhile, jury selection began Monday in the bribery andcorruption trial of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. After spending theentire day in court Perez faces an unfriendly resolution when citycouncil meeting is put on the agenda.
"Mister Mayor can you comment on the resolution to have you stepaside under the temporary disability provision of the Charter?"
"Up to the Council to put it on tonight," Mayor Perezanswered.
Councilman Larry Deutsch announced he will introduce aresolution tonight saying that because the mayor is absent fromwork and unable to communicate by e-mail or phone during courtsessions he falls under a city charter provision of temporaryabsence during the day.
"There are many people in Hartford that feel in the absence ofthe Mayor, and it's an essential job, that just like any otherperson if he has to miss his job for a period of time a goodsubstitute should be appointed," Councilman Deutsch said.
The man next in line is City Council President Pedro Segarra. Hewould be made acting mayor if the resolution were to beadopted.
"It's certainly a time to hear any council person that'sinterested in presenting the resolution," Segarra said. "There arenine of us. Each person on the council is entitled to present theirviewpoint and it's up to the rest of us on the council to decidehow deeply they want to entertain it."
But declaring Perez as absent from work, when he's not even outof the city, could be challenged in court and many feel the time isnot ripe.
"The state has to prove its case and I just think that you needto let all the facts come out before there's a rush to judgment,"Rev. Cornell Lewis said.
Councilman Deutsch says the resolution is non-judgmental, takingno sides on the Mayor Perez's guilt or innocence. It takes sixvotes on the nine member council to get this on the agenda, and itwould take five votes for it to pass.
In jury selection Perez's attorney Hubert Santos seated onewhite female juror from the suburbs and one Hispanic man from thecity. Prosecutors had objected to the man, but were overruled byJudge Julia Dewey.
Santos has been saying all along that it would be difficult tofind Hispanics willing to serve, but one was seated on the firstday.
The trial is scheduled to begin May 11 and is expected to lastseveral weeks.
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