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Recall Petition #1 Falls Short Against Rivera, Mayor Says He will Investigate Forgeries and Fraud, Call Out Opponents

By: Tom Duggan – Dec. 11, 2015

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Lawrence Auxiliary Police Chief  with Auxiliary Officer of the Year Ahmed Barrie and Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera at the Lawrence Elks, just hours after the recall against Rivera failed.

The recall efforts against Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera was dealt a critical blow Friday as recall supporters fell 655 signatures short of the 5,645 required to trigger a special election to throw Rivera out of office. This is only one of two recall efforts to unseat Rivera. Both recalls are being spearheaded by friends and political supporters of former Mayor William Lantigua who vowed a recall election the day he lost to Rivera in 2013. 

For his part, Mayor Rivera spent the evening at the Elks Lodge on Andover Street honoring the men and women of the Lawrence Police Auxiliary at their annual Christmas Gala. The mayor was asked several times during the evening to talk on the record about the recalls against him, but refused to comment except to say “I refer you to my press release.”

In that press release (below) Rivera said he will now begin an investigation into forgery and or fraud involved in gathering of the recall signatures.

BOR

The Lawrence Board of Registrars made the determination that recall supporters were short of their goal to get 5, 500 signatures to throw Mayor Rivera out of office. PHOTO: Rich Russell

“While the Board of Registrars was given a report that 4,990 signatures were verified, we are certain that a majority of these will not stand up to close scrutiny. Once we have the petitions in hand, we will begin to review them for forgery and fraud. We have had many people come to our office with experiences where the people involved with the petitions lied and cajoled them into signing the recall. We will be looking into this matter to insure that no one’s rights were violated. I encourage the City Clerk to expedite the already week old requests for those documents.”

Rivera also called out former Mayor Willie Lantigua and his two biggest supporters on the city council, President Modesto Maldonado and Councilor Sandy Almonte, as well as those running the recall, whom he called tax cheats, bad cops, and bad employees. 

“After almost three months of an effort to put Lawrence and the progress we have made in the last two years on pause, that group of bad employees, bad cops, tax cheats, landowners looking to take advantage of the City, joined by Councilor Maldonado and Councilor Almonte, and even former Mayor Willy Lantigua, all in their effort to stop the progress, have failed in that effort.” 

The Full press release is below. 

Mayor Daniel Rivera Statement on FAILED recall

I ran for Mayor to make Lawrence better, because the families in this community work hard every day to raise a family, run a business, and build a community to try to improve their quality of life. For many years, political infighting, unresponsive and irresponsible government stood in the way. So, for the last two years we have made hard decisions to change the way things are done in Lawrence in order to be more responsive and responsible, and to improve the quality of life for all residents. It is what the voters of Lawrence elected us to do.

We have worked to fight crime, we have disciplined bad employees including bad police officers, we have forced tax cheats to pay their taxes, we have taken hard stances on land use matters, we defended the City against bad contracts and bad leases, and we demand real change in the way our City does business. When you focus on this type of change, those whose interests are negatively affected by these actions (bad employees, bad cops, tax cheats, and unscrupulous landowners looking to take advantage of the City) will fight back against us and they most recently did so by launching a recall effort to remove me as Mayor. They do not want us to make Lawrence better.  

After almost three months of an effort to put Lawrence and the progress we have made in the last two years on pause, that group of bad employees, bad cops, tax cheats, landowners looking to take advantage of the City, joined by Councilor Maldonado and Councilor Almonte, and even former Mayor Willy Lantigua, all in their effort to stop the progress, have failed in that effort. The lies about myself personally and morally, the lies about our administration, and even the rumors of free turkeys or cash for signatures did not help them in their negative agenda.

While the Board of Registrars was given a report that 4,990 signatures were verified, we are certain that a majority of these will not stand up to close scrutiny. Once we have the petitions in hand, we will begin to review them for forgery and fraud. We have had many people come to our office with experiences where the people involved with the petitions lied and cajoled them into signing the recall. We will be looking into this matter to insure that no one’s rights were violated. I encourage the City Clerk to expedite the already week old requests for those documents.

Lastly, we have not been perfect and we have much left to do in our effort to make Lawrence better. However, from the beginning of this effort it was clear to us that this recall was not about my conduct personally or the way we have run this government. This was an effort to stop, distract, and take the focus off the real reforms that we have put in place. The real thing these people wanted to recall was the City’s progress; they don’t want Lawrence to get better. The more there is chaos in Lawrence and the more we are focused on infighting and back biting, the easier it is for bad employees, bad cops, tax cheats, and unscrupulous land owners looking to take advantage of the City. For every day that we have chaos, the businesses of our city, the residents in all our neighborhoods, and the kids in our schools lose. The only benefit they sought in this ugly agenda was to benefit themselves and they failed at it.

So I will reiterate we have never stopped making the tough decisions that make everyone’s quality of life better, making Lawrence City government more professional, more responsible, and responsive. We were elected to do a job, we are focused on doing that job, and we fully plan to see that job through.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover Massachusetts, a #1 Best Selling Author, Host of the Paying Attention Radio Program on WCAP in Lowell, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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2 Responses to Recall Petition #1 Falls Short Against Rivera, Mayor Says He will Investigate Forgeries and Fraud, Call Out Opponents

  1. David Reply

    December 12, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Keep at it Dan,hammer down!

  2. Pingback: The Mess That is the Recall against Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera ~ Court Challenges, Threats of a Restraining Order, Mayor Claims Forgeries | The Valley Patriot

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