EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 2, 2013

Laboy looks forward to 'moving on' after paying back $10K to LPS

Ordered to repay $10K to Lawrence schools

(Continued)

Gleason hailed his client as “a remarkable man” who “looks good, feels good and is moving forward with his life.”

A Superior Court jury convicted Laboy about 13 months ago of five counts of fraud and embezzlement. Part of his sentence called for him to pay restitution. The jury determined Laboy used public school resources for his personal gain — school employees ran his personal errands and also had pizza menus and other items for his son’s business printed in the school department.

In March 2012, Superior Court Judge Richard Welch sentenced him to two years in jail, with 90 days to be served. But Laboy only served 60 days at the Correctional Alternative Center in Lawrence, also known as “the Farm,” after he was released 30 days early for good behavior.

Laboy was also sentenced to three years of probation, including one year of house arrest, and 600 hours of community service.

The Lawrence School Committee voted to fire Laboy in April 2010 after he was indicted on eight counts of fraud and embezzlement, including charges that he used School Department employees and resources for his personal gain.

For much of his first eight years on the job, Laboy was one of the most respected school superintendents in the state — and he got paid like it, with annual raises boosting his salary to more than $200,000 by the summer of 2008.

That was his reward for being the leader who presided over a period of major accomplishments on the city’s public education front: Lawrence High School regaining its accreditation, and the opening of a new $110-million, state-of-the art high school campus that features six smaller schools, each focusing on a different field of study.

Three other others charged, to date, in the Laboy scandal were sentenced to probation.

In October 2011, Israel Reyes, a failed city mayoral candidate, pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny of property over $250 for also abusing the school department’s printing press. He was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to stay away from the Lawrence Public Schools.

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