EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 6, 2013

Investigators: Parking attendant put money in Lantigua's campaign account

LAWRENCE — Investigators today said parking garage attendant Justo Garcia deposited cash from the city-owned Museum Square garage into the campaign account of Mayor William Lantigua.

The bombshell came in a State Police affidavit filed during Garcia's arraignment at Lawrence District Court on larceny charges this afternoon.

Garcia was arrested as he walked toward a side entrance to City Hall on Appleton Way about 12:40 p.m. by men in plainclothes, who called him to the front of the building on Common Street. After a discussion that lasted only a minute or two, Garcia was put in handcuffs, placed in a Lawrence police car and driven away, according to a witness.

According to the affidavit, on or about April 6 of this year, investigators "initiated a surveillance of Garcia."

They watched as he drove his Dodge Durango from his home on Pleasant Terrace in Lawrence to the Museum Square Garage.

They said he went into the garage and came out a short time later and drove to the Bank of America at 64 Winthrop Ave.

"Investigators subsequently learned that Garcia entered the Bank of America, proceeded to a teller window and made two separate deposits into the William Lantigua Election Account," the affidavit said.

The affidavit was filed by State Police Detective Sgt. Barry Brodette.

Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said the arrest was made by state police, FBI and Lawrence police.

Garcia was taken to Lawrence District Court about 1:45 p.m. in a Lawrence police cruiser.

She said Garcia faced a charge of larceny over $250 and other larcenies.

Garcia was released on personal recognizance. He was ordered to surrender his passport, report to probation on a weekly basis and to reveal any aliases he may use.

Lantigua is in Florida today for his father's funeral.

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