SALEM, Mass. — Lawrence resident Israel Reyes showed up at Salem Superior Court yesterday morning, successfully avoiding a warrant to be issued for his arrest.
Reyes, a failed 2009 mayoral candidate, is charged with two counts of larceny in connection with the fraud and embezzlement case against former Lawrence Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy. A trial is expected to start on Nov. 29.
On Monday, Reyes was expected to be in court for a pre-trial conference along with Laboy and his son, Wilfredo Laboy II, who is charged with perjury. A fourth man, Mark Rivera, Laboy's former special assistant, is also charged with seven counts of larceny. Rivera did not attend Monday due to a scheduling conflict with his attorney.
Judge John Lu said he would issue a warrant for Reyes' arrest if he didn't show up for court by 9:30 a.m. yesterday.
Reyes was accompanied yesterday by Lawrence lawyer Socrates De La Cruz. Both are expected back to court Sept. 28, so De La Cruz can officially file an appearance as Reyes' defense attorney, court staffers said.
Reyes' previous lawyer, Walter Underhill, died in April.
Laboy, hired as school superintendent in 2000, was fired by the School Committee in April 2010, roughly one month after he was indicted and arraigned.
He is accused of using school employees to take out the trash at his Methuen home, drive around his son and grandchildren, wire his home computers and more. He also is charged with illegal possession of alcohol on school property and failure to disclose a business relationship with a School Department vendor, Sal's Pizza owner Salvatore Lupoli.
Laboy, Rivera and Reyes stand accused of using the school department's $500,000 printing press to make up free political literature — some without their knowledge — for local and state candidates.
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