Up To 22 To Testify For State In Perez Corruption Trial

Prosecutors intend to call as many as 22 witnesses in Mayor Eddie A. Perez's felony corruption trial, which begins Wednesday.

City contractor Carlos Costa, who is entwined with charges of bribe-receiving and evidence fabrication that have been lodged against the mayor, is expected to testify for the state during the first week of the trial.

At a hearing Friday before Superior Court Judge Julia Dewey, defense lawyers Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley asked the state to be more specific about which items of evidence, from the reams collected during an 18-month probe, it intends to use during the case.

For example, Santos noted that investigators collected 12,000 e-mails from city development official John Palmieri, and Santos said he'd like to know which ones he could expect to see during the trial, which is expected to last at least six weeks.

Prosecutors Chris Alexy and Michael Gailor said the defense was welcome to dig through all of the state's evidence, but they said they were not prepared to be more specific than that.

Perez, 53, is charged with receiving a bribe, fabricating physical evidence and conspiracy to fabricate physical evidence. He is accused of accepting free or discounted work on his home from Costa, who has received millions of dollars in city contracts. He is also charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree larceny by extortion and coercion.

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