EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Mayor Lantigua

August 20, 2011

Lantigua web contact now has city position

LAWRENCE — The web site where Mayor William Lantigua has posted the names of 5,483 residents who signed petitions supporting his recall was sold to the mayor in 2009 by a man who now works as an information technology specialist for the city.

IT specialist Luis Santiago still is listed as the "administrative contact" for the Lantigua campaign site, www.lantiguaformayor.com, according to GoDaddy.com, which sells Internet domain names.

The Lantigua site in the past has solicited campaign contributions, although it is not doing so now. Public employees in Massachusetts — except elected officials themselves — are prohibited from soliciting contributions for politicians.

Santiago said he is no longer connected to the site and had no role uploading the names of the people who signed the recall petitions. He declined to discuss the issue further, noting that city employees are not permitted to speak to the press without clearance from the mayor's office.

Attempts to reach the city's Personnel Office to determine when Santiago joined the city workforce were not successful yesterday.

Santiago also owns a private computer repair business, A&B Computers on Hampshire Street in Lawrence.

Calls to GoDaddy.com were referred to its marketing department, which did not respond to an email.

Lantigua's campaign website (http://lantiguaformayor.serie64.com) went active on Feb. 23, 2009, as Lantigua, then a state representative, was revving up his mayoral campaign. He was elected the following November.

Lantigua used his campaign website, as well as his Facebook page and YouTube.com, to fight the recall. Videos posted on the sites say they were paid for by Lantigua's campaign organization. How much Lantigua spent to defeat the recall won't be known much before Jan. 20, 2012, when he is due to file his next round of financial disclosure forms.

Lantigua did not return a phone call yesterday.

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