On April 4, to the surprise of many, the former mayor of Hartford, 61-year-old Eddie Pérez, launched his candidacy to return to the Mayor's Office. In front of a considerable number of people, he made his announcement in a popular restaurant in the area. His wife María and several family and friends accompanied Pérez. The setting and atmosphere was ideal for making his first public appearance after his resignation as Mayor of Hartford, in 2010, before the accusations of fraud against him.
To give you a brief history of the leader born in Corozal, Puerto Rico, we will say that in 2001 he won for the first time the election for Mayor of Hartford, becoming the first Latino to reach that position at the national level. He completed a half term until the Constitution of the city was modified, to give him more powers and not be a simple decorative figure; from there he won two more elections and as we already mentioned, he left office before completing his third term.
Among the accusations made, the most important was the fact that he had received free home repairs (later valued at $40,000) from a construction company owned by Carlos Costa, who in turn had contracts with the city. Ingenuity or liveliness, the play went wrong for Eddie Pérez and at the insistence of the plaintiffs and media pressure, he had to resign.
The former mayor pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe and was sentenced to eight years in prison. His conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeals in 2013 and confirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2016. With which he has complied with justice.
It is this, how he is in a position to apply for public office. That is also why, in his first speech, of a little more than half an hour, he apologized to the population and also asked for a second chance. "It's time for a change in the mayor's office," Pérez said. "We need leadership that cares about the struggles in our neighborhoods. We need leadership to act and improve the quality of life of all our residents," he said to the applause and shouts of approval from his followers.
After his release, Eddie Pérez has joined a group of Democratic candidates who compete for the most important position in the city. State Representative Brandon McGee; the President of the Hartford Board of Education, Craig Stallings; entrepreneurs Stan McCauley and Aaron Lewis, who have registered to run for mayor. We must also bear in mind that the current mayor, Luke Bronin launched his re-election campaign last January.
To finalize and give our opinion on this return by Eddie Pérez to the local political arena, we think that the mistakes he committed were not so serious for him to be banished from the public service forever, he deserves a second chance. In short, the people will have the last word on September 10 when the primaries are held and then the general election on November 5.
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Identidad Latina Newspaper