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State Sues Lawrence Mayor Lantigua For Alleged Campaign Finance Violations

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in potentially illegal cash and corporate contributions.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court against Lantigua, his election committee and Ana Soto, the committee's current treasurer.

The complaint alleges Lantigua accepted 16 cashier's checks or money orders worth more than $50, a potential violation of state law, during his first run for mayor between 2008 and 2010.

Coakley's office claims Lantigua or his committee accepted more than $14,000 in potentially illegal cash contributions in 2009, but "failed to keep accurate accounts of the 22 individual deposits."

The mayor is also accused of receiving or failing to report "potentially illegal contributions from Rumbo Newspaper in the form of advertisements" in 2009 and failing to report "nearly $20,000 worth of expenditures from his campaign account" in the same year, including a "more than $9,000 payment to Costa Eagle Radio for advertising."

The attorney general also claims Lantigua and his campaign also filed late, inaccurate, incomplete or unsigned campaign finance disclosures.

The suit demands Lantigua be fined and pay back contributions that were either illegal or reported inaccurately.

Lantigua paid a $5,000 fine earlier this year after Coakley sued him for failing to file a 2011 campaign finance report.

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