EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 28, 2013

Laboy perjury trial set for tomorrow

LAWRENCE — Wilfredo Laboy II, son of the convicted public school superintendent, allegedly lied about having his pizza shop menus printed, getting rides to work “on a daily basis” and having repairs and odd jobs done at his Methuen home — all courtesy of Lawrence public school resources, according to recently filed court papers.

Details of Laboy II’s testimony before the Essex County Grand Jury on Sept. 16, 2009 — the backdrop for his pending perjury charge — are detailed in a decision released this past week by Judge John Lu.

The grand jury investigated the elder Laboy, who on March 22, 2012, was found guilty of felony fraud and embezzlement charges. Lawrence superintendent for nearly 10 years, Laboy was convicted of abusing public school resources for personal gain, using school employees to run his personal errands and having pizza menus and other items for his son’s business printed in the school department.

Laboy II, 37, is the fourth and final person with a pending criminal case centered around the school scandal.

With his trial set for tomorrow, Laboy II’s defense attorney Scott Gleason attempted to have the perjury charge dismissed, saying in part the indictment “was overbroad because it did not identify which of his statements before the grand jury were false.”

However, Lu ruled that argument was “unpersuasive.” The grand jury received sufficient evidence to charge Laboy II with perjury in three areas, Lu wrote:

- As it relates to his testimony regarding the printing of menus for his Sal’s Pizza franchise in the Howe Street Superette in Methuen. John Laurenza, an LPS graphic designer, “directly contradicted large portions of Mr. Laboy’s testimony,” Lu wrote.

- Also, Laboy II told grand jurors after he lost his license for a second drunken driving offense, “for the most part” he used several local car services to get to work at Sal’s Pizza locations in North Andover and Lawrence. However, Lu wrote that Christopher Merlino, a school department maintenance worker, testified “98 percent of the time” the superintendent called him and asked him to pick up his son and drive him to work. Two other school workers also told grand jurors they drove Laboy II when Merlino was not available, Lu added.

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