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Merrimack Valley

February 26, 2014

Fight for personnel records rages on

Jackson at center of Melix Bonilla case

(Continued)

The extortion, fraud and conspiracy charges were brought against Bonilla as a result of the car swap.

Jackson told grand jurors he feared losing his job; his only source of income and health insurance after he had a heart attack four years prior.

Also in January, after Rivera took office, Bonilla stopped receiving his $138,000 police department salary. After his indictment on Sept. 11, 2012, Lantigua allowed Bonilla, his former campaign manager who he promoted to deputy police chief from sergeant, to stay on paid administrative leave from the police department.

But after he was sworn in, Rivera suspended Bonilla, demoting him back to the rank of sergeant and moving to halt his pay. A hearing officer then ruled the city was justified in shutting down Bonilla’s paychecks.

Bonilla was indicted at the same time as Leonard Degnan, Lantigua’s former chief of staff, who is accused of pressuring a city trash hauler to donate a truck to Lantigua’s native Dominican Republic. Degnan’s criminal trial is scheduled for March 10.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.

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