The sad tale of Eddie Perez

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. Hope Seeley, one of Perez's attorneys, to his right. (Hartford Courant photo. Michael McAndrews)

(Some background on Eddie Perez, to go with my brief post yesterday)

Hartford CT Eddie Perez was born in Puerto Rico, was a gang leader as a youth, then became a community organizer. He was elected mayor in 2001 with great hopes that a genuine progressive could revitalize Hartford. Yesterday he was convicted on five charges relating to corruption which could put him in prison for many years. Plus, he still awaits trial for extortion.

Hartford sure didn’t need this. Surrounded on one side of the Connecticut River by prosperous suburbs and on the other by solid industrial and manufacturing areas, it’s been the classic decaying hole-in-the-donut urban core for decades. People really hoped Perez would make a difference.

I grew up near Hartford and we lived there in 2007. Perez came to a Jena 6 march in Hartford I was at, not as the mayor but as a progressive. Sure, he said a few words, but didn’t make a big deal about himself and just marched with the rest of us. That impressed me.

Look, he’s guilty. There’s no question about that. What a waste.

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