EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 24, 2012

Ruling ousts two from city's Licensing Board

Lantigua calls emergency Council meeting tonight on appointments


“Can the City Council vote to reaffirm (Martinez’s) approval?” City Clerk William Maloney wrote in an email to Boddy, the city attorney, yesterday afternoon. “And if not, would a vote to reaffirm an unlawful vote be considered unlawful?”

Laplante said he will oppose voting on any new appointments to the Licensing Board tonight. Rivera said he is unsure how he will vote.

If the council declines to vote on the appointments, Mayra Lantigua will be denied the quorum needed to convene the Licensing Board later in the evening, further delaying action on the licenses and other approvals pending before the board.

When he invalidated Garcia’s appointment to the Licensing Board, Boddy also said that the licenses Garcia voted for at the board’s Sept. 25 meeting were invalid. Those applicants were directed to return to the board to seek new approvals tonight, when they may face a hobbled board unable to act.

Mayor Lantigua named his wife to chair the board following the death of its former chairman, Richard Fielding, last month. He did not publicly announce the appointment.

Mayra Lantigua was appointed to the board by former Mayor Michael Sullivan and her term has expired, but the mayor has not attempted to replace her or resubmit her name to the City Council. Rivera and other councilors have said they would oppose her because of the conflict they said she faces sitting on a board that makes policy for the city while her former husband is mayor.

The Licensing Board is best known for issuing liquor licenses to bars and nightclubs, but also regulates a wide range of businesses that includes package stores, car dealers, bodegas and boarding houses, making it one of the city’s most powerful agencies.

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