Ally of Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua indicted on theft charges
The former campaign photographer for embattled Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua has been indicted on fraud and larceny charges, one of several Lantigua allies to face allegations of corruption.
Justo Garcia, 60, is accused of stealing money from a municipal parking lot he managed, and performing campaign-related tasks for Lantigua while on the job.
Garcia pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in June in Lawrence District Court. The indictment moves the case to Superior Court.
The FBI was notified when cash revenue at the garage dropped, with losses averaging $7,000 a month. Garcia ran the garage’s monthly pass program and was responsible for the money, the Globe reported in May.
Sal Tabit, Garcia’s lawyer, said his client denies the charges. “He continues to maintain his innocence,” he said. “He is adamant he didn’t steal any money.”
Last month, Attorney General Martha Coakley sued Lantigua for alleged campaign finance law violations, accusing him of accepting thousands of dollars in potentially illegal cash and corporate contributions.Peter Schworm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.