|Happier times [Herald Photo]|
Over the weekend news broke that Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua (who used to be State Rep. William Lantigua... and for a time was Mayor AND State Rep. William Lantigua) and other members of his administration are, as the Eagle-Trib puts it, "the focus of a 'multi-jurisdictional investigation' focused on allegations of corruption involving narcotics, weapons, bid rigging, suspicious out-of-country travel and more."
"Multi-jurisdictional" in this case means local, state, and federal by the way. Not bad for a guy who has only been in office a little over a year.
Anyhoo, given the extensive political ties between Governor Patrick and Mayor Lantigua (Patrick campaigned for Lantigua, appeared personally at his swearing in, and more recently has defended a $35M state bailout of Lawrence) it is only natural that the Governor is now being asked to comment on Lantigua's current difficulties. His response is unsurprising. From Boston.com this afternoon:
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.Know what? I've read the some things - and although I too have been contacted by no authorities, I have a pretty good notion of what I think of Mayor Lantigua. The Governor might as well have answered, "I had soup for lunch. I like soup." That answer would have been no less responsive (and may even have the added virtue of truth).
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.”
The Governor obviously had confidence in Lantigua at some point. He invested a not-inconsiderable amount of political capital in the guy. Still, Patrick couldn't even bring himself to give his political pal the benefit of the standard "these are only allegations / innocent until proven guilty" response, par for the course in these situations (and also having the virtue of truth). I could respect that. There is something to be said for personal loyalty.
But no, the Governor knows what he's read, and has been "contacted by no authorities." Which, come to think of it, is an interesting non-response. So far as the public knows the allegations against Lantigua have to do entirely with the City of Lawrence. Does the Governor have reason to expect he'll be contacted by the authorities? If so, one can forgive him for being cagey. One corruption trial at a time is enough for any Governor, especially one whose schedule is already packed with out-of-state travel.
By the by, why do I keep thinking of this?
Maybe Boston.com should ask Lt. Governor Murray what he thinks about the whole Lantigua mess. After all, Murray endorsed Lantigua too, and even featured the Mayor on an episode of his scintillating online talker, The Commonwealth Report.
What? You don't watch it?