EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 7, 2014

Unclear if Degnan corruption trial will start next week

LAWRENCE — Leonard Degnan is supposed to be in Salem Superior Court on Monday, but it’s unclear if his bribery, extortion and conspiracy trial will start that day as scheduled.

Due to court scheduling issues, it’s unknown at this point if the trial will start, according to information provided by District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office yesterday.

Owner of a local insurance company, Degnan was former chief of staff to Mayor William Lantigua. He is accused of pressuring a city trash hauler to donate a truck to Lantigua’s native Dominican Republic.

Degnan served as Lantigua’s chief of staff from January 2010 to May 2011, when he abruptly resigned. He testified in Boston before a federal grand jury investigating Lantigua and his administration shortly after.

Lantigua, to date, has not faced any criminal charges.

Degnan and Melix Bonilla, a Lawrence police officer, were both indicted on Sept. 11, 2012 on bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges. Bonilla is accused of swapping 13-city owned vehicles in exchange for four Chevrolet Impalas from a Lantigua friend.

Bonilla’s trial is being held separately, now scheduled for April 17.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.

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