Mayor Eddie A. Perez, who was convicted of felony corruption charges last week, said he will submit his letter of resignation Friday, but has not set a definitive date for leaving office.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Perez said that the effective date of his resignation "will be worked out with council leadership in order to allow for a smooth transition."
"I am truly sorry for the mistakes I have made that have harmed the city that I love," he said in the statement.
City Council President Pedro Segarra, who will become mayor once Perez steps down, said that Perez's departure could take days or weeks — time he will need to help Segarra transition into his new role.
"The mayor has indicated he will resign," Segarra said during a press conference later Tuesday. "The only thing we have to sort out is when. Other cities have not been able to make the transition this quickly."
Segarra said he wanted to dispel public concern that Perez was taking too long to leave office.
"He is not in any way holding out for any longer period of time than [the council] feels is necessary," he said. "For those people who might think that this process should be happening a lot quicker — I can tell you that the only legislative way for removing a mayor involves a process that is very lengthy and complicated. It is a process that neither the council wants… [or] the mayor wants."
Segarra said he called the press conference to "alleviate any doubts or fears" from the public that Perez's departure isn't moving fast enough.
"I want to assure you that any delay in terms of us making this transition is only brought about by us trying to do what is responsible and prompt and meets with all the different interests that are involved in this situation," he said.
Sarah Barr, Perez's spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the mayor "needs to clarify a timeline" with city leaders. Perez did not attend the press conference.
Segarra said Perez will announce the date of his last day in office on Friday.
Perez was convicted of five felony charges, including bribery and extortion. He had been charged with receiving a bribe, fabricating evidence, accessory to the fabrication of evidence, conspiracy to fabricate evidence, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion. A jury found him guilty on all counts except for a charge of fabricating evidence.
He has said he plans to appeal.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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