EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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Mayor Lantigua

June 5, 2011

Grand jury investigates Lantigua

LAWRENCE — Businesses and individuals with alleged knowledge of Mayor William Lantigua's political fundraising efforts have received a first round of subpoenas in a multi-jurisdictional probe of the mayor's administration.

A spokesman for Sal Lupoli, the owner of Salvatore's restaurant and function facility at Lawrence's Riverwalk, confirmed a subpoena from the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance was served to a restaurant manager there at 5 p.m. Friday.

The subpoena seeks all information — including photographs — of Lantigua's campaign and fundraising events held at Sal's since March 2008 so they can be presented to a grand jury, the spokesman said.

Other subpoenas from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are expected to follow the campaign and finance probe, according to a high-level law enforcement source.

"I can't confirm or deny that there's an ongoing investigation at this time," said Jason Tait, a spokesman for the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

"The review of any case remains secret until it's resolved or referred to the Attorney General's office."

The agency investigates alleged violation of campaign finance law. The office can assess fines and also refer matters to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office for criminal investigation and charges.

Lantigua has again refused to return calls for comment. However, he went on TV Friday to say he welcomes any agency "FBI, CIA or the D.A." to investigate him. He said everything he does is within the law.

"They can look and search everywhere. There is nothing there," Lantigua said in the interview.

During the 2009 election year, Lantigua repeatedly missed deadlines to file campaign fundraising reports required by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Last week, the Boston Globe reported Lantigua failed to report who paid for certain fundraisers.

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