Mayor William Lantigua Allegedly Siphoned Money To City General
The FAA is looking into allegations that Lawrence, MA, Mayor
William Lantigua siphoned off money from the city's municipal
airport (KLWM) for use in the city's general fund, and compromising
safety at the Lawrence Airport in the process.
Lawrence, MA Mayor William Lantigua
The funds Lantigua is suspected of misdirecting had been earned
by the airport largely from hangar leases and rents paid by tenant
companies, but the Andover Eagle-Tribune reports that when the city
budget was passed last July, the mayor had cut the airport budget
by 16 percent to less than half a million dollars. By zeroing out
the airport's maintenance crew, an $85,000 surplus was created,
which was diverted into the city's general fund ... a
violation of federal law.
The move placed federal funding for the Lawrence airport in
jeopardy, and the FAA requested an accounting of the airports
financial ledgers. The mayor reportedly produced those on May
As a solution to the issue, the Lawrence city council placed
airport funding into a special enterprise account which would place
funding for the airport out of reach of the mayor and council,
though they will still set the budget for the facility. It also
increased the airport's budget by 8 percent for FY2012,
though the budget document does not include details as to how
revenue will be generated.
The FAA says it is continuing its investigation into the
airport's finances. New York-based FAA spokesperson Jim Peters said
the agency is taking action to "ensure that the city understands
its obligations as sponsor of the airport."