EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Mayor Lantigua

October 14, 2011

Gov. again skirts comment about possible indictment of mayor

LAWRENCE - Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday again deflected questions about how he might react if the federal grand jury considering alleged criminal activity by Mayor William Lantigua returns an indictment, although this time he suggested he has at least pondered the issue.

"We're going to wait and see what happens," Patrick said about his options if Lantigua goes on trial. "I've got a lot of them, none of which I'm going to talk about now."

Patrick was questioned about the issue when he called The Eagle-Tribune to describe an $800,000 grant Lawrence will receive to combat violence among boys and young men.

The money is part of a $10 million anti-crime grant that will be divided among 11 cities.

"This initiative isn't about the mayor," Patrick said when asked about the possibility of Lantigua's indictment as the governor was winding up the eight-minute interview on the crime-fighting initiative. "It's about young people at risk."

Patrick responded similarly when an Eagle-Tribune reporter raised the issue during a tour of the Northern Essex Community College campus in Haverhill on Sept. 14.

"Speculation isn't helpful," Patrick said then. "I can tell you we are not going to let Lawrence fail."

Two weeks ago, state Rep. David Torrisi, D-North Andover, said he would favor appointing a control board to run the city if Lantigua is indicted. Sen. Steven Baddour, D-Methuen, said he would favor appointing a receiver, which would have near total power over the city, including the ability to dissolve the office of the mayor to send the City Council home.

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