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Watchdog: Follow the Money

Ex-New Jersey official convicted of corruption

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Associated Press,Watchdog,New Jersey,Corruption,Follow the Money,Bribery

LAWRENCE, Mass. — The former chief of staff of ex-Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua has been convicted of corruption charges.

Leonard Degnan was found guilty Monday of bribery, conspiracy, soliciting a bribe and unlawful use of official position. He was found not guilty of extortion.

Prosecutors alleged Degnan used his position to pressure a city vendor to donate a trash truck to a town in Lantigua's native Dominican Republic. Degnan allegedly threatened to void the vendor's contract "without cause" if the garbage truck wasn't donated.

Degnan has denied the charges. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The Eagle-Tribune reports the Lawrence Superior Court jury deliberated for about nine hours beginning Friday. The trial began a week ago.

Degnan was Lantigua's chief of staff from January 2010 to May 2011. Lantigua was defeated for re-election last fall.

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