SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 1, 2014

Former Lantigua aide found guilty

LAWRENCE — A jury yesterday convicted Leonard Degnan of four counts of bribery and conspiracy in a crashing criminal blow to the former administration of Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua.

Degnan, Lantigua’s former chief of staff and right-hand man, was cleared of one count of extortion, which carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison — the heftiest of the charges.

The North Andover resident was convicted for pressuring a city contractor, Allied Waste, to donate a trash truck to the city of Tenares in the Dominican Republic, Lantigua’s native country. An Allied Waste employee testified Degnan “threatened” and “squeezed” him for trash truck donations after Lantigua was elected but before he formally was sworn in to office in January 2010.

Prosecutors stressed that the case was about more than a trash truck; it was a blatant violation of the public trust.

Called as a witness in Degnan’s defense during the 31/2-day trial, Lantigua asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and never took the stand. Former public works director Frank McCann also took the Fifth.

Since taking office in 2010, Lantigua and his administration have been dogged by allegations involving the trash truck, other vehicle donations to the Dominican Republic, bid-rigging, suspicious out-of-country travel and more. To date, Lantigua has not faced criminal charges.

A 12-person jury in Lawrence Superior Court deliberated for more than nine hours before convicting Degnan, a married father of three, of solicitation of a bribe with corrupt intent, conspiracy, knowing solicitation of the bribe and unlawful use of an official position. On the final charge, jurors specified Degnan defrauded “the citizens of Lawrence,” according to the verdict slip read aloud in court yesterday.

Degnan and family members in the courtroom were silent as the verdicts were read just after 4 p.m. yesterday. Judge Douglas Wilkins ordered Degnan held at Middleton Jail pending his sentencing Thursday morning at 9.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140724_SN_DLE_PEM1-1 Peabody Essex Museum severs ties with Gordon College

    SALEM -- The Peabody Essex Museum announced Thursday that it had ended its longstanding collaboration with Gordon College and its museum studies program, saying the school's attitude toward gay and lesbian individuals conflicts with its fundamental values.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 7 Stories

  • Cop wants pension credit for lifeguard work BOXFORD -- A veteran Boxford police officer is trying to boost his retirement pension by getting credit for his summer job as a lifeguard nearly four decades ago. In a letter to a state appeals board, John Iannazzo said working as a lifeguard for the

    July 25, 2014

  • 140724_SN_DLE_BRIMBAL3 Residents skeptical of Brimbal Avenue plans

    BEVERLY -- Neighborhood residents turned out in healthy numbers Thursday for an open meeting to see and discuss new design plans for the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 interchange. Concerns ranged from biking and pedestrian safety to tax dollars spending a

    July 25, 2014 6 Photos 9 Stories

  • 140724_SN_DLE_GRIFFIN6 Peabody's new police chief receives upbeat welcome

    PEABODY -- More than 100 family, friends, well-wishers, city officials and police officers lined Wiggin Auditorium in City Hall yesterday afternoon to applaud the swearing in of former Salem Capt. Thomas Griffin as the city's new police chief. "Today

    July 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • 140721_GT_MSP_MARKETBASKET_04 [Duplicate] Ousted CEO bids for Market Basket Arthur T. Demoulas' offer to buy the rest of the supermarket chain embroiled in a widespread protest and boycott was met with elation, and then a reality check, protest organizers said Thursday. Demoulas announced his offer Wednesday night, though he

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo