February 4rth, 2010
State Ethics Commission
Mr. Scott Cole
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Dear Mr. Cole:
I am filing a formal complaint against William Lantigua, Mayor of the City of Lawrence and State Representative for the Sixteenth Essex District – City of Lawrence. I firmly believe that Mayor/State Representative William Lantigua has violated a number of sections of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.)under chapter 268A Conflict of Interest Law, specifically sections 23 (b)(2) and section 23 (b)(3).
To wit: in March of 2007, State Representative William Lantigua filed an affidavit with the Essex Probate & Family Court regarding a family court matter in which he was the defendant. His ex-wife, the Plaintiff, was seeking a motion for wage assignment of his State Representative’s salary and seeking help with their daughter’s college expenses.
Signed under the pains and penalties of prejudice, State Representative William Lantigua’s affidavit to the court, contends in part,
“I have helped…[my ex-wife] in many ways, including assisting her efforts to get a job with the City of Lawrence Police Department, where she is currently employed.”
State Representative Lantigua, of course, represents the City of Lawrence and has considerable interaction with the Police Department in his role as State Representative and enjoys influence and the perception of influence to direct funding from state sources to the Police Department and the City of Lawrence.
It appears clear that State Representative Lantigua used his position and influence as a State Representative to secure a job in the Lawrence Police Department for his ex-wife. Additionally State Representative Lantigua’s actions directly benefitted himself and his personal financial situation. By increasing the income of his ex-wife, State Representative Lantigua eased the burden on his own purse. The better off financially she is, the lower the financial burden on Representative Lantigua to provide financially to his ex-wife and their child.
M.G.L. c. 268A, section 23 (b)(2) states in part, “No current officer or employee of the state…shall knowingly, or with reason to know…use or attempt to use his official position to secure for himself or others unwarranted privileges…which are of substantial value and which are not properly available to similarly situated individuals.”
Additionally M.G.L.c. 268A, section 23 (b) (3) states in part, “No current officer or employee of the state…shall knowingly, or with reason to know…act in a manner which would cause a reasonable person, having knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to conclude that any person can improperly influence or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act…as a result of kinship…”
By using his status as State Representative to secure his ex-wife a public job in the same city he represents as a State Representative, William Lantigua knowingly and purposefully acted in a manner to violate M.GL. c. 268A and to further shaken the public’s belief in our elected officials and in the general fairness of the public employment system.
Indeed his attorney in this court matter, Attorney Richard D’Agostino, also at the time an attorney for the City of Lawrence, submitted a pleading contending:
“Defendant Lantigua has helped…[his ex-wife] in many ways, including assisting [her] endeavor to gain employment with the City of Lawrence Police Department, her current employment position. Such help has assisted Mr. Lantigua and [his ex-wife] in providing for…[their] best interests.” [Emphasis added]
I trust the State Ethics Commission will investigate this matter and inform me and the good people of the Commonwealth of your findings.
Michael R. Sweeney