Nearly a decade after he resigned in disgrace, 61-year-old Eddie Perez made it official tonight…he wants his old job back. He was convicted of accepting a bribe of home improvements and attempted extortion and sentenced to 3 years. But the convictions were overturned by the state’s highest court. He pleaded guilty two years ago in order to avoid another trial but served no time.
In his announcement, he admitted to making serious mistakes saying, “I hurt the image of our city. I let many people down and for that I am truly sorry.”
You can’t help but make comparisons to Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim who served 6 years in prison for a federal corruption conviction, but four years ago made a successfull political comeback as Mayor of the Park City.
But Perez never went away, staying active in the city all through his legal troubles and like Ganim, remains popular, especially among Latinos who make up 48% of the city. “I mean if Joe Ganim gets re-elected as mayor, I think anyone deserves a second chance,” said Hartford resident Tom Kenney.
Sonia Beckford, also a Hartford resident, adding, “We got to give him that chance to prove himself the second time around. He will do better and get the job done.”
Mayor Luke Bronin, who is seeking a second term, sent out a news release even before the Perez announcement noting that taxes went up in the city during the decade Perez was in office.
Perez says that during Bronin’s term, too much attention has been centered on downtown, leaving out the neighborhoods.
4 term North End State Rep. Brandon McGee is also in the race, he formally announced in January. In a statement to News 8, McGee saying, “in the spirit of second chances, we should welcome him to the discussion.”
The chairman of the local board of ed; Craig Stallings and two local business owners; Aaron Lewis and Stan McCauley have also announced.