Former Hartford Mayor Perez pleads guilty to larceny and bribe receiving; avoids jail time

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HARTFORD --  Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges Thursday afternoon as part of a plea deal.

Perez was sentenced to eight years suspended and a three year conditional discharge.

"I'm happy to get this over with," said Hubert Santos, Perez's defense attorney,  "I've been representing Eddie since 2007 when we had the grand jury proceedings in the first trial, we had the appeal, the second appeal and now these proceedings. He's incurred over a million dollars in legal fees, he's had a hard time with employment, now he wants to get back to his wife, children, his grandchildren and put an end to this endless litigation."

Perez was convicted in 2010 and sentenced to three years in prison, but he has remained free pending several appeals.

His convictions were vacated in 2013 after a three judge panel found Perez had been improperly tried. Prosecutors opted, at the time, to try both charges at the same time, a move, the judges ruled, violated Perez's rights.

Perez, a Democrat, was Hartford’s first Hispanic mayor, serving from 2001 to 2010. He resigned after being convicted of accepting a contractor’s bribe of home improvements and trying to extort $100,000 from a developer.

Perez says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.