Hartford, Conn., mayor arrested on bribery charges

HARTFORD, Conn. - Eddie Perez, a one-time gang leader who turned his life around to become Hartford's most powerful mayor, surrendered to police Tuesday to face a bribery charge for having a city contractor renovate his home and not paying for it until after being confronted by investigators.

Perez, Hartford's first Hispanic mayor, pushed through changes to the city charter that gave him unprecedented control, which he used to consolidate power, appoint department heads and take control of the school board. But for two years he has operated under a cloud of suspicion, and the charges threaten to add his name to a steadily growing list of crooked politicians that has given this state the nickname 'Corrupticut.'

Florida company nixes plan to sell Caylee doll

ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida promotions company has backed off plans to sell a blonde-haired doll bearing the name of slain toddler Caylee Anthony.

Showbiz Promotions, based in Jacksonville, had planned to sell its Caylee Sunshine doll for $29.99. But on its Web site Tuesday the company's president announced the suspension of the launch plan. Jaime Salcedo said the company reversed course after reviewing public response to the doll.

AIG executive sentenced to 4 years in prison

HARTFORD, Conn. - A former executive of insurance heavyweight American International Group Inc. was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday in a fraud case that authorities say cost shareholders more than $500 million.

Christian Milton of Wynnewood, Pa., declined to comment during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Hartford. Judge Christopher Droney also fined Milton $200,000 and ordered him to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on March 25.

AIG will still pay team bonuses

NEW YORK - American International Group Inc. said it is paying retention bonuses as planned to employees in the unit that sold credit default swaps, the risky contracts that caused massive losses at the insurer.

According to news reports, approximately $450 million is being offered to a group of about 400 employees in the financial products unit. That averages to about $1.13 million per employee.

Palin launches political action committee

NEW YORK - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin launched a political action committee Tuesday to help support candidates for federal and state office.

The committee, SarahPac, is dedicated to supporting 'fresh ideas and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation,' according to its Web site.

NYC woman denied job as bikini-clad barmaid sues

NEW YORK - A woman who wanted a job as a bikini-clad barmaid at a New York City eatery said managers rejected her because she has a 'Latin accent.'

Melody Morales has sued seeking unspecified damages and saying she applied 15 times for a job at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant and bar. She said managers always denied there were any openings even though other employees said there were.

FBI tapes played for impeachment trial in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. Rod Blagojevich was hundreds of miles away but his voice boomed through the Illinois Senate's chambers Tuesday as his impeachment jurors listened to FBI wiretaps of conversations in which he seems to demand campaign contributions in exchange for signing legislation.

Neither the governor nor the others on the call - the governor's brother and chief fundraiser Robert Blagojevich and former chief of staff Lon Monk, officials say - specifically mentions money or any amounts.

LA man kills wife, 5 kids, himself

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles hospital has confirmed that two of its former employees died in a family murder-suicide.

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles said in a statement that Ervin Antonio Lupoe and his wife, Ana, were former employees.

Police said the man shot his wife, 8-year-old daughter, twin 5-year-old daughters and twin 2-year-old boys shortly before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in their home.