EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 2, 2013

Tow company boss testifies in cop's corruption trial

Officer P. J. Lopez faces bribery charges

(Continued)

A woman working in Calixto’s office, Mayra Colon, felt badly for Lopez and wanted to help him. She suggested fabricating a receipt for the snow plow and saying Calixto took the money when he was drinking and didn’t remember. Calixto gave the FBI the fake receipt but after consulting with his attorney called the agents and told them “the truth.”

He advised Colon to do the same, he said.

Two weeks later, Calixto was off the city tow list. He said he lost 95 percent of his business and now runs just a single tow truck. He works full-time as a driver for JRM Hauling and Recycling, he said.

Under cross examination by Cain, Calixto admitted his grand jury testimony in the case was postponed because he drank heavily the night before it was originally scheduled. He also said he paid Colon under the table and did not pay employment-related taxes for her.

“Did the IRS know you were paying Mayra under the table?” Cain asked.

“No,” Calixto replied.

Lopez, who earns $60,000 annually, was immediately placed on paid administrative leave after his indictment. While he hasn’t worked in more than a year, Lantigua, who Lopez supports politically, has allowed Lopez to stay on the city payroll.

Testimony in the case is expected to resume at 9 a.m. today.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski under the screenname EagleTribJill.

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