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.
"The campaign finance law requires that all the money that's raised and all the money that's spent must be disclosed to the public," OCPF spokesman Tait said yesterday. "It's largely a disclosure law to create transparency in the political process."
Candidates can accept cash contributions or in the form of a money order up to $50. Candidates can accept individual check contributions up to $500.
"Every contribution must be accounted for — even a cash donation of $1," Tait said.
Law enforcement sources previously confirmed Lantigua's administration was the focus of a broad-sweeping probe involving allegations of narcotics, weapons, bid rigging, suspicious-out-of-state travel and more.
Lantigua's top aide Patrick Blanchette also did not return calls. Blanchette is familiar with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Last year, he was fined $20,000 for misusing campaign funds in his own 2009 bid for the mayor's office. The investigation found he wrote himself $13,000 in personal checks with campaign funds.
He previously said he has paid $9,000 of the fine and owes the remaining $11,000 by Jan. 31, 2012.
Leonard Degnan, Lantigua's former chief of staff, resigned abruptly last month, citing personal reasons. He also could not be reached for comment for this story and didn't return messages left on his cell phone.
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