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Lantigua’s chief of staff quits for personal reasons

By Neal Riley
Globe Correspondent / May 25, 2011

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The chief of staff of Mayor William Lantigua of Lawrence has resigned for personal reasons, the mayor said in a statement yesterday.

Leonard Degnan, whom Lantigua called “a great friend,’’ is leaving to run his family insurance business, Lantigua said. The Eagle-Tribune, which first reported the resignation, said it was effective on Monday.

Lantigua said he accepted the resignation Monday. He lauded Degnan for helping to tackle a $24.5 million budget deficit the city faced when Lantigua took office in 2010 and for his help in preparing a budget for fiscal year 2012.

“I knew that I needed Lenny’s knowledge of city government, budgeting, and his candid approach to all that came our way,’’ the mayor said.

Degnan had defended his boss to the media, including when Lantigua came under fire for writing a letter of recommendation to a judge for an assault suspect and when city police officials said there was no evidence to support Lantigua’s contention that a car with unregistered plates tried to run him over in front of City Hall.

Last month, the Globe reported that Lantigua was the target of a corruption probe by federal and state authorities for possibly using city business for his own profit. Lantigua has denied wrongdoing.

Neal Riley can be reached at nriley@globe.com.