Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hartford Mayor Perez Arrested A Second Time

Another politician, this time Mayor of Hartford Eddie Perez, has been arrested – for a second time – for having commited what would have been considered in the age of Tammany Hall politics as usual.

The mayor has been arrested under RICO statutes, for trading his influence at city hall for discounted work on his Bloomfield Avenue home and attempting to extort money from a private developer for the benefit of Abraham L. Giles, once an influential North End politico.

RICO legislation was designed to prosecute drug lords and criminals connected with the Mafia, but it has been applied for the past few decades by aggressive prosecutors to political crimes. The college professor who drafted the legislation said it should never be used to prosecute politicians.

Mr. Perez's lawyer, Huber Santos claims the charges leading to the second the second arrest were filed “intentionally to defeat our ability to have a jury trial and vindicate the mayor of the charges that are pending.”

He is asking for a contempt citation against prosecutors for having release the warrant when the grand jury’s report was yet under seal.

The prosecution should be held in contempt, Mr. Santos charges, for “thumbing its nose at the Connecticut Supreme Court. For that it should be held in contempt.”
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