Poor unlucky Hartford.
Three years ago, Connecticut's capital city had to endure the indignity of seeing its mayor — its first "strong" mayor with greater power granted by a new charter — put on trial for corruption.
It wasn't exactly great advertising for Hartford when a jury on June 18, 2010, found Mayor Eddie A. Perez guilty on felony bribery and extortion charges.
The charges were a result of sleazy, self-serving, small-bore deals that brought Mr. Perez $40,000 in discounted home improvements from city contractor Carlos Costa in exchange for the mayor's keeping Mr. Costa's company on the Park Street improvement project, and the promise of political support in the next mayoral election from North End political operative Abe Giles, now deceased.
The Perez era, which had started with such bright promise, had turned rancid.
Now, sadly, the city will experience the humiliation of 2010 all over again.
On Monday, a three-judge panel overturned Mr. Perez's five felony convictions. He will receive two new trials.
In a 47-page decision, the appellate panel concluded that there was enough evidence to sustain Mr. Perez's convictions, but that the bribery and extortion-related charges shouldn't have been combined into the same trial.
If Mr. Perez was unfairly prosecuted, he should get relief. We have no problem with that. Prosecutors also can appeal the panel's ruling to the state Supreme Court.
But Hartford stands to lose as the shoddy Perez melodrama plays out once again. It can only be hoped that this act doesn't stretch on for years.
Any city pays a price when its name is dragged through the mud of corruption.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun