EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 24, 2014

Bonilla corruption trial delayed until September

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — LAWRENCE - Scheduled to start this week, the criminal corruption trial for Lawrence police officer Melix Bonilla has been delayed now until Sept. 22.

Bonilla's defense attorney filed a motion to continue the trial this morning in Salem Superior Court, which Judge John Lu allowed.

Prosecutor Michael Patten said he was ready to start the trial now, however.

Bonilla, which the department's former deputy police chief, is accused of swapping 13 city-owned vehicles for four Chevrolet Impalas with a friend of former Mayor William Lantigua. Bonilla is a political ally of Lantigua and served as his campaign manager.

Charged with extortion, fraud and conspiracy, Bonilla is on unpaid suspension from the department.

More coming in tomorrow's Eagle-Tribune and at eagletribune.com.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.