EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Breaking News

Latest News

June 22, 2013

Methuen solicitor hears case to fire Lawrence cop

(Continued)

Several exhibits were entered into evidence during the hearing, including a June 17 termination notice faxed to Gonzalez and memos from both Police Chief John Romero and McNamara.

McQuillan concluded the hearing by saying he would issue his decision as soon as possible.

It’s unclear why the city hired McQuillan to oversee the hearing. “I can’t comment on that publicly due to the (pending) hearing,” Boddy said. It’s also unclear how much McQuillan is being paid hourly for his services.

McQuillan’s departure in Methuen brought an end to an contentious five-plus months that began on Jan. 7 when the City Council voted against reappointing him to a new two-year term. During that span, councilors unsuccessfully tried to replace McQuillan and eventually hired the private firm Kopelman and Paige to assume the duties of solicitor.

Gonzalez was placed on paid administrative leave on Dec. 17 after the alleged victim went to Lawrence police and reported she was sexually assaulted. The city has continued paying Gonzalez, even though he was in jail and despite Romero’s requests to Lantigua to cut off Gonzalez’s salary.

Lantigua, as mayor, is the appointing authority and ultimately decides if a police officer will be fired.

Two other police officers with political ties to Lantigua are still being paid long after their indictments on felonies.

Deputy Chief Melix Bonilla, who earns $140,000 annually, was indicted by the Essex County Grand Jury as part of an ongoing investigation into Lantigua and his administration. Bonilla, Lantigua’s former campaign manager, is accused of swapping 13-owned vehicles for four Chevrolets with a Lantigua friend. The state inspector general said the city lost $30,000 in the deal.

Officer P.J. Lopez, another Lantigua supporter, was indicted by the federal grand jury for allegedly making arrangements with a local tow company to have cars he ticketed towed in exchange for a stream of benefits, including a $4,000 snow plow.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Photos of the Week