EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 9, 2013

State reps. also file bill to block municipal candidates with violations

State House Minority Leader Brad Jones and newly elected Methuen Rep. Diana DiZoglio said they plan to file legislation to prevent local-level politicians who ignore state campaign finance laws from running for office.

The legislation is aimed at Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua, who has run up $5,000 in campaign finance fines from the state. The law allows the state to block candidates for the Legislature and other high offices from the ballot if they have campaign finance violations, but not for local offices such as mayor.

The Office of Campaign and Political Finance levied the fine on Lantigua after his campaign failed to file required 2011 disclosure forms. In August, after Lantigua disregarded OCPF’s attempts to collect the fine, the agency turned the debt over to a private collection agency. Despite the outstanding violation and fine, Lantigua is legally permitted to run for a second term, an intention he announced late last month.

Lantigua ran for mayor in 2009 and took office in January 2010.

Check back with The Eagle-Tribune for updates, and see tomorrow's edition in print or at eagletribune.com for a full report.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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