HARTFORD --—Abraham Giles was on his own when he told developers of property at Main and Trumbull streets that he had an agreement with the city to operate a parking lot at the site, the defense asserted today in Mayor Eddie A. Perez's corruption case.
It was this contention by Giles -- not anything that the mayor did -- that led the property sellers and buyers to agree to a $100,000 payoff, or "lease termination fee," to get Giles to vacate the site, the defense maintains.
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Developer Joseph Citino testified that Perez told him after looking at Citino's plans for the site that the developer would have to "take care of" Giles before the deal could proceed.
The defense asserts that Perez never told Citino or anyone else to pay-off Giles, who had galvanized support for Perez in 2007.
Giles, however, never had a formal lease with the city to operate the parking lot at 1143 Main St., according to court records. For a period of time, he was paying $500 a month to run the lot and then was subleasing it to LAZ Parking for $2,250 per month.
Juliann Butler, former city revenue manager, testified she was asked by city officials several times between 2005 and 2008 to look for a lease or licensing agreement for 1143 Main St. and could never find one.
She told prosecutor Christopher Alexy that she never located any documents linking Giles to the operation of that parking lot.
Prosecutors assert that Giles was getting bargain-basement rates without bids or contracts as a political pay-off from Perez.
Eventually, when the Hartford Parking Authority put the parking lot operation out to bid, the winning company offered $50,000 a year to run it.
But defense lawyer Hope Seeley indicated that 1143 Main St. was also known as "Tract B" and that there was a 1991 licensing agreement between the city and Giles' company, G + G Enterprises.