EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 8, 2012

Editorial: Lantigua shows his contempt for the rules ... and decency


Years ago, Lantigua ran the campaign that put Santiago on Beacon Hill. When Santiago double-crossed Lantigua by running for mayor against Lantigua’s candidate, Lantigua exacted revenge by running for state representative against Santiago and beating him.

Ever since, Santiago has been “underemployed,” to put it euphemistically. But now he has a job with opportunities for advancement, perhaps, if he stays on Lantigua’s good side.

As usual, Lawrence’s chief executive isn’t talking. Santiago’s only response was a characteristically crude expression refusing comment.

If he did talk, Lantigua might argue, as Isensee did, that the rules are the rules. You use up your sick leave, sorry, but you lose your place on the payroll.

But we know Lantigua has no use for the rules.

He is still keeping two indicted police officers on the payroll despite a request by Police Chief John Romero that they be suspended without pay, as the law and custom allow in the case of criminally charged cops.

Between them, former deputy chief Melix Bonilla and officer P.J. Lopez make over $200,000, a year, five times what Sapienza was making. It goes without saying that both are political cronies of the mayor.

The Sapienza story has angered many and understandably so. But this is not the first time the mayor has shown such contempt not only for the rules but also for common standards of decency.

Lantigua has piled outrage upon outrage.

So, now, it is time for people to ask this simple question: What does it take to get fired if you are a mayor like this?




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