EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 11, 2014

Degnan appeal possible

LAWRENCE — Defense attorneys for Leonard Degnan, a recently convicted ex-aide to former Mayor William Lantigua, have not ruled out appealing his four guilty verdicts in a bribery and conspiracy case.

Degnan, 51, was found guilty of four felony counts of bribery and conspiracy March 31.

A 12-person jury convicted Degnan, Lantigua’s former chief of staff, of pressuring a city contractor, Allied Waste, to donate a trash truck to the Dominican Republic, Lantigua’s native country. The crime occurred in 2010, after Lantigua was elected as mayor but before he was formally sworn into office.

A week ago, Degnan was sentenced to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, spend two years following his jail term on probation and complete 100 hours of community service. At sentencing, Degnan and his attorneys were told they had 10 days to appeal the verdicts and sentence.

A possible appeal is still under review, said Ted Cranney, Degnan’s lead defense attorney. He declined further comment on the matter.

At sentencing, Degnan was also told by Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins that he is barred from holding any office “of honor, trust or profit” in any state or municipal agency.

Since the verdicts were handed down, Degnan has been behind bars at Middleton Jail, according to Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins. He said Degnan remains in a regular unit at the jail.

“As I said before, I don’t anticipate having any problems with him,” Cousins said.

Some Middleton Jail inmates are re-classified and sent to the minimum-security Correctional Alternative Center in Lawrence, an area off Marston Street known locally at “The Farm.” Cousins said there are no plans at this point to send Degnan to the Farm, although in the future he may qualify to be housed there.

Degnan’s conviction was a crashing blow to Lantigua’s former administration (2010 to 2014), which was dogged for four years by allegations of corruption, including the trash truck scheme other vehicle donations, an illegal car swap, suspicious out-of-country travel, bid rigging and more.

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