Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez announced yesterday that he will soon be arrested for the second time this year stemming from an investigation into the past misdeeds of former State Rep. Abe Giles.
“I am innocent of the charges against me and I will fight for the facts to come out because the truth is on my side,” Perez said, standing at a podium in a crowded conference room in the office of his attorney. “Let me be clear: I will not resign. I will continue to serve the people of Hartford because they elected me to a job and that job is not finished.”
Hartford is a city with numerous problems – crime, poverty, and racism to name just a few – and needs serious leadership if it is ever going to turn the corner.
Mr. Perez, who is still awaiting trial on the first corruption case, now will face a second series of charges. Continuing to go about his job like nothing is the matter is comical at best.
Hartford’s sad story is, among other factors, the end result of a leadership structure too dominated by a single entity – the local Democratic machine – that has proven itself adept at winning elections but awful at governing. CTGOP Chairman Chris Healy once described Hartford’s delegation to the State House this way:
One of those is a former Perez aide – State Rep. Kelvin Roldan, who has a high paying job as an administrator, although he had no demonstrated qualifications for the job. The rest of the Hartford delegation is well, the rest of the Hartford delegation. State Rep. Ken Green, D-Hartford, an affable man, has the worst attendance record in the House, even though he lives less than a mile from the Capitol. His contribution to political discourse every year is picking the best dressed legislators and staff members…
And if that wasn’t enough, Abe Giles, a North End legend, parking lot magnate and voter fraud specialist, is saddling up for a return to the State Capitol where he spent many a day sleeping in the Hall of the House as a state legislator.
People sometimes ask questions along the lines of “Where’s Hartford’s Rudy Giuliani?” But in a city so dominated by a Democratic machine that seems happy to boost the likes of Perez and Giles into power, from where could Hartford’s Giuliani emerge?
Until Perez is off the stage and the Democratic machine can be broken into pieces, the “Capitol City” will continue to suffer. In the mean time, we can all sit around and place bets on which law enforcement agency will be next in line to arrest Perez.