Officials last week charged Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez with allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in free home improvement work from a construction company that does business with the city.

The chief state attorney’s office indicted Perez on one count each of alleged bribery, fabricating physical evidence, and conspiracy. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. Perez became mayor of the state capital in 2001.

Officials claim the mayor paid $20,217 to USA Contractors Inc. in July 2007 after Public Integrity Bureau inspectors brought the issue before the mayor. The company completed home upgrades to Perez’s Hartford residence almost two years earlier valued at approximately $40,000.

The warrant also alleges that, after questions arose regarding the upgrades, Perez asked for and received a fraudulent billing statement that did not list all of the costs associated with the refurbishments.

The mayor, who denies the charges, will appear in Hartford Superior Court on Feb 3. He said last week that he does not intend to resign.

“My office has always taken a business-friendly approach,” Perez said in a prepared statement. “I am proud that we have always worked with scores of businesses large and small to resolve issues with city government. However, at no point have I used my position to improperly benefit any business or individual.”

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