The Rise and Fall of Eddie Perez
“In June of 2005, my life was turned upside down when my wife, Marie, collapsed at a community function and underwent surgery and treatment for multiple brain aneurysms. It was not clear she was going to live, and I spent the better part of that year working to bring her back to health. During the period of Maria’s illness, the work was delayed.
“Mr. Costa completed most of the work in 2006 and he billed me $20,217 in early 2007. I had made inquiries for securing financing during the summer of 2006. After I received the invoice in early 2007, I made an additional inquiry. I obtained financing from the Hartford Federal Credit Union and then paid Mr. Costa in July of 2007. I have previously released those records and paid for all permitting and inspections of the property.
“At various times, Carlos Costa has worked on city construction contracts. In 2003, he won a competitive bid for the Park Street Streetscape improvements and was the low bidder. The bid was awarded by the Department of Public Works, the project is complete, and as of this date, the city has spent less than the original $7.3 million estimate of the cost of the project.
“Even though Mr. Costa was paid for the work he completed at my house, it was a mistake on my part to retain a city contractor to perform work at my house. Further, I should have ensured the proper permits were obtained. The perception in today’s environment has the potential to undermine public confidence in government.
“That being said, I firmly believe that I did not commit a criminal act. Anyone who has followed my decades of community and public service knows that there has never even been an allegation that I have betrayed the public trust. The voters of Hartford have voted for me twice since these facts have become public, and with humility, I will continue to do the job that they have elected me to do.
“I look forward to a quick trial on these allegations and look forward to a vindication in court.”
If only the mayor’s words could heal the damage done to his reputation and the faith put in him by so many thousands. And the hope that here was an example of how a local kid could pull himself from the bottom to the top. But the people who know him so well, the reporters at the Hartford Courant who are covering the story, aren’t buying what Perez is selling. From reading their coverage, it seems they feel betrayed, too.
As if they didn’t know him, either.