By Yadira Betances
---- — LAWRENCE — Mayor William Lantigua has a new chief of staff, Frederick Diaz.
Diaz, 36, replaces Ron Bell, a former community liaison to Gov. Deval Patrick who was hired by Lantigua in February, 2012.
“He lives on the other side of Boston and his commute was too long,” Lantigua said of Bell. “He had another offer as a consultant closer to home and decided to take it.”
During a telephone interview, Bell said he is doing political consulting.
He took the commuter rail to get to his job in Lawrence because his license had been suspended because of a driving record that includes 14 accidents, moving violations and other driving convictions over 20 years.
“I couldn’t do it any more (the commute) and I found a better opportunity closer to home,” Bell said.
Diaz, 36, started the job two weeks ago. But this is not the first time he has worked in the Lantigua administration, as he previously worked in the sewer division of the Department of Public Works.
“In that type of job, you get to feel what people feel and what they need,” he said.
He was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Lawrence in 1996. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an associate’s degree in computer science from Hesser College in Salem, N.H.
Diaz worked in the information technology department at Deutsche Bank for four years until he was laid off.
He said his background in law enforcement and information technology will be an asset to his job at City Hall.
“It gives me the skills and discipline to do the job,” he said. “You have to take challenges in life so you can grow as a person and help in the community. Lantigua gave me the opportunity and I want to help him.”