EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Latest News

April 4, 2014

Jail time

Degnan sentenced to 18 months in bribery scheme


Wilkins sentence also bars Degnan from holding any office “of honor, trust or profit” in any state or municipal agency.

Degnan, who owns a Lawrence insurance company with his wife, stood before Wilkins yesterday, cried and pleaded for leniency. Dressed in a gray suit, Degnan was handcuffed in court. He was held at Middleton Jail since his conviction late Monday afternoon.

“This was a mistake. I am the first to admit this was a mistake. ... I’m asking you for mercy. I’ve never been in trouble in my life,” Degnan said.

Some 40 letters of support, largely from residents in Lawrence and North Andover, were submitted on Degnan’s behalf to Wilkins. Rev. Paul O’Brien of St. Patrick Church in Lawrence, former Lawrence Mayor Mary Claire Kennedy, former Lawrence Police Chief Robert Hayden, Joseph Quartarone, former Lawrence City Council president, and Mark DiSalvo, North Andover town moderator, were among those who vouched for Degnan’s character. Degnan’s wife, Carla, and daughter, Gina, submitted handwritten notes to Wilkins as well.

The courtroom yesterday was packed with Degnan family and friends, including attorney James Landy and Jack McCarthy of North Andover, who attended the entire trial. Once the courtroom benches filled, people stood along the back wall and spilled into the hallway outside. Patrick Blanchette, a fellow Lantigua aide, was among the spectators.

Blanchette asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination when he was called before an Essex County Grand Jury investigating Lantigua and allegations of corruption.

Echoing prosecutors, Wilkins, as he sentenced Degnan, said the criminal case was “not just about a trash truck.”

“Dedicated and impartial jurors have found that Mr. Degnan intended to defraud the city of Lawrence,” Wilkins said.

Degnan was found guilty of one count of unlawful use of an official position. Wilkins noted that on that charge jurors specifically agreed Degnan defrauded the city of Lawrence.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Photos of the Week