Lawrence Mayor Lantigua appears at courthouse; subpoenaed to testify on missing garage funds

Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua had little to say today after going to Essex Superior Court in Salem, where he had been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury to answer questions about money allegedly missing from a city-owned parking garage managed by one of his close political allies.

“Due to the secrecy requirements of the grand jury proceedings, which we all — both the Commonwealth and ourselves — agreed to abide by, there is very little we can say today, other than this is a continuing proceeding and Mayor Lantigua and I, as time goes on, will have more to say,” said Lantigua’s attorney, Jeffrey Denner.

Denner, who commented to reporters as Lantigua looked on, also had no comment on whether Lantigua was a target of the investigation.

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Whatever Lantigua said, it didn’t take long. He emerged from the courthouse shortly after going in.

Tens of thousands of dollars are allegedly missing from the Museum Square Garage in Lawrence. Almost from the moment he was elected in 2009, Lantigua’s administration has been under investigation, but today was the first time Lantigua himself has been called to appear before a grand jury.

A person briefed on the investigation said Lantigua had gotten a subpoena Monday as he disembarked from a plane at Logan International Airport after returning from a trip to his native Dominican Republic. The person, who asked to remain nameless because the investigation is confidential, said the subpoena ordered Lantigua to appear before a state grand jury.

Denner told the Globe Tuesday that “Mayor Lantigua has answered and will answer every question put to him by investigators while he continues to conscientiously carry out his duties as mayor.”