So, no one is above the law? Apparently the Mayor of Hartford, a City Employee, and a contractor that works with the city have all been arrested on charges of bribery, among other things. While all three are innocent until proven guilty, it seems the cards may be stacked against them.
Hopefully, they have all retained experienced defense attorneys to help them through this difficult time. As with anyone facing charges within the United States judicial system, all three of the men are due their day in court.
According to this report from the State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, all three have been arrested on a variety of charges, running from bribery to fabricating physical evidence. According to the reported information, Mayor Perez and Edward Lazu both received work from contractor Carlos Costa, who owns USA Contractors Inc.
Reportedly, both men had work done to their home and didn't pay anything until questions arose. The, when paid, they paid far less than what would be the going rate for such work.
Contractor Costa alleges he was told he would not be paid for the work and understood the projects as the “price” of doing business in Hartford. However, Costa is facing charges as well. His company has many contracts with the city of Hartford totaling several million dollars, making the whole situation much more interesting.
The charges these men face range from a Class D felony, and up to 5 years in prison, to a Class C felony which carries up to 10 years behind bars. Each man is facing multiple charges. For more information on felony classification in the state of Connecticut, see this chart.
No one should be above the law and the people of Connecticut shouldn't feel like they are being governed by someone who is breaking the law. However, we also have to allow these men to have their day in court.
It is true that the justice system is meant to protect the innocent and that is why the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” is used so much. The accused should not have to prove their innocence, rather the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a crime has been committed.
These three men are like any other person accused of a crime, likely somewhat stressed about the whole situation. They no doubt sought a defense attorney that they felt could help them reach a positive outcome in court.
I know what it's like to be on the defense. I know because I have successfully defended many clients in the state of Connecticut. If you are facing criminal charges and are looking for an experienced attorney, contact us to discuss your case today.