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February 3, 2013

Probe: Bonilla abused power

(Continued)

“He categorically denies ever threatening Mr. Jay Jackson to be terminated,” Cain said. “At no point in his career or in his interactions with Mr. Jackson has he ever engaged in an inappropriate behavior.”

Lantigua did not return a phone call.

The three promoted officers — Jorge Tejera, Tomas Santiago and Jose Montas — share ties beyond their volunteer work for Lantigua’s political organization. All three work day jobs in city schools as security officers or custodians. All three work night jobs as bouncers in local nightclubs as part of a business run by Montas.

And all three are now gone from the auxiliary force.

Santiago was relieved of duty on March 14, 2011, three months after his promotion from sergeant to lieutenant, following his arrest for driving drunk with a revoked license — while wearing his police uniform — in Haverhill. The drunken driving arrest was Santiago’s second in less than a year.

Tejera, who was promoted from lieutenant to captain, has not shown up for a shift in longer than a year. Of the three, he may be closest to Lantigua. He often chauffeurs Lantigua around the city, sometimes armed and sometimes in military-style garb.

Montas quit the force just six months after his promotion from patrolman to sergeant, at about the time his nightclub security business was taking off.

Both regular and auxiliary police officers often use their badges as a credential to get private security jobs. For nighttime guards in Lawrence, the best money is in the clubs — where Lantigua is a regular and often holds campaign events, including one Dec. 28 at Rio’s Bar & Grill, where he announced he would run for a second term.

Auxiliary police officers are not paid, so the leverage their badges give them to get private security jobs is an important perquisite of their volunteer auxiliary work.

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