Archive for the ‘Perez Corruption’ Category

One Lousy Day for Connecticut Democrats
May 18, 2010


Eddie Perez, Susan Bysiewicz and Richard Blumenthal in happier days, 2007                         Photo courtesy: Ken Krayeske

This was a really, really bad day for Connecticut Democrats. 

Within a two hour period and a four mile radius, the Democrats were the focus of three embarrassing stories as they head into the convention.   

First, the Democrat with the highest approval ratings of any politician in the state faced allegations he lied about his military record.     In a news conference broadcast all across the country,  Richard Blumenthal told reporters he regretted that he “misspoke” about having served in Vietnam.    Democrats could almost hear the poll numbers tumbling.

Later,  across from the State Capitol at the State Supreme Court, the Democrats’ one time frontrunner in the race for governor and Blumenthal’s fellow constitutional officer was dealt a devastating blow.   The high court ruled Susan Bysiewicz is not qualified to succeed Blumenthal.   

On New Year’s Day she was the odds-on favorite to be our next governor, an office her party hasn’t been able to capture since 1986.    Now, for the first time in more than a generation, this once rising star in the Democratic party probably won’t even be on a ballot come November.

 Meanwhile, around the corner from the Supreme Court, the three term Democratic mayor of the capital city was away from his city hall office again,  in court as a defendant in his corruption trial.   Eddie Perez, the host mayor of the Democratic convention this weekend faces prison time if convicted.   

To be fair, Connecticut Republicans have had their bad days, too, but  this was certainly one of the worst days to be  a “D,” unless your name is George Jepsen.

Should Mayor Perez take the stand?
May 17, 2010

The answer:  yes.  Mayor Eddie Perez owes it to the citizens of Hartford, and taxpayers all over the state who help fund the capital city to take the stand at his corruption trial.   The mayor has said he has nothing to hide and has insisted he is innocent.   If that is the case, the mayor should find giving testimony fairly easy. 

Lawyers for the three-term Democrat will probably advise him not to testify.  The Mayor isn’t known for being quick on his feet when it comes to public speaking, and he will be going up against prosecutors who are.   

Nevertheless, the mayor has a moral obligation to testify.  If he doesn’t and is acquitted, there will always be a cloud of doubt hanging over him.    The jury will be told they can not  hold the decision not to testify against a defendant. 

The public has no such restriction. 

Meanwhile, Colin McEnroe has a great column as to why the Perez trial is so important.

Also, if you’d like to watch the Mayor’s last extended  interview about the case, here he is on his last appearance on “Face the State,”   from August 2007.    We have invited him back on, but the Mayor has declined every invitation.

The next Mayor of Hartford?
April 8, 2010

Beginning Monday if you stop by Hartford City Hall and stop by the Mayor’s office, you will be told “the Mayor is not in.”   You’ll get that answer for about 6-8 weeks   That’s because Mayor Eddie Perez will be several blocks away,  standing trial for bribery and extortion.  

So who will be running the city?  The Mayor says  he will be in charge, even though he will be behind closed doors in court, where cell phones are not allowed and judicial marshals will be on hand to make sure there are no interruptions.   The Mayor says he will conduct business, including managing a huge budget crisis and recruiting desperately needed new businesses, during lunch breaks and at night.   Mayor Perez has ignored all calls for him to step down temporarily, even from city council members, and the state’s largest newspaper. 

City Council President Pedro Segarra and other council members could take action to remove Perez, and might do so if the city should suffer during the Mayor’s prolonged absence.   During a taping of “Face the State” I asked Segarra  if he felt Perez should stay on the job during the trial.   “I wouldn’t do what he is doing if were mayor,” Segarra replied, adding that he loves the city.    

The corruption scandal and trial make up a dark chapter in city history.   Segarra is a soft spoken former city attorney who would become Mayor is Perez is convicted.   He told me is “as prepared as he could be” to take over the reins of city government. 

You will hear from the potential future mayor this Sunday at 11AM.  Channel 3′s Len Besthoff, who has been covering the Perez scandal for two years, is our guest reporter.


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