Governor Deval Patrick declined today to say whether he still has confidence in Mayor William Lantigua of Lawrence, who is being investigated for possible corruption by federal and state authorities.
Asked directly if he has confidence in the mayor, Patrick said: “I know what I’ve read, but we’ve been contacted by no authorities.”
Patrick also said he stands by the $35 million in loan guarantees his administration has given to Lawrence, which had been on the verge of insolvency. As part of the deal, Patrick appointed a state overseer who has worked closely with Lantigua to manage the city's finances.
Some Republicans have called on the governor to step in with stronger oversight, but Patrick indicated today that he was comfortable with his overseer, even with the clouds hovering over Lantigua.
“I can tell you they have a plan, they are adhering to the plan in terms of their interaction with state government,” Patrick said in a brief interview in a State House elevator. “I think we are doing our job.”
The Globe reported on Saturday that the FBI, the Essex district attorney, and other agencies are looking into Lantigua’s dealings with companies that work for the city and into his ongoing public battle with the Lawrence Police Department, according to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Law enforcement officials are particularly interested in the mayor’s control over which companies get towing business with the city and who is permitted to operate taxicabs.
On Sunday, Lantigua responded to the investigations, saying, “I am 100 percent innocent. It’s nothing but a whole bunch of innuendos.”
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