Posts tagged "1103717"

Commonwealth v. Degnan (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-037-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-1955                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  LEONARD DEGNAN.     No. 14-P-1955.   Essex.     December 1, 2016. – March 30, 2017.   Present:  Cypher, Maldonado, & Blake, JJ.     Municipal Corporations, Officers and employees.  Solicitation to Commit Felony.  Bribery.  Conspiracy.  Fraud.  Evidence, Bribe, Conspiracy, Fraud.  Practice, Criminal, Duplicative convictions, Argument by prosecutor.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on September 11, 2012.   The cases were tried before Douglas H. Wilkins, J.     David A.F. Lewis for the defendant. Philip A. Mallard, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     BLAKE, J.  Following the election of William Lantigua as mayor of Lawrence (city) in 2009, the defendant, Leonard Degnan, served as his chief of staff.  During the defendant’s tenure in that position, he secured the donation of a trash truck from the city’s waste services provider to a city in the Dominican Republic.  The donation request took place during a meeting in which the defendant told the provider that the mayor’s office “had the ability to rip up” the provider’s contract with the city.  Following the donation, the city took no action to void or modify the contract. In 2012, a grand jury returned several indictments charging the defendant with bribery and other crimes related to the trash truck donation.  A 2014 jury trial resulted in convictions of soliciting a bribe, soliciting a gratuity, conspiracy to solicit a bribe, and unlawful use of an official position with fraudulent intent.[1]  On appeal, the defendant claims that the Commonwealth presented insufficient evidence to support the convictions, and that errors in the prosecutor’s closing argument created a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice.  With the exception of the conviction of soliciting a gratuity under G. L. c. 268A, § 3(b), which we vacate as duplicative of the bribery conviction, we affirm the defendant’s convictions. Background.  In the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, Commonwealth v. Latimore, 378 Mass. 671, 676-677 (1979), the jury could have found the following facts. City’s waste removal contract.  Allied Waste (Allied) is a waste hauling company that holds multiple municipal contracts, private contracts, and commercial accounts.  In 2009, Stanley Walczak was a general manager at Allied responsible for the negotiation of municipal contracts with the city, among other duties.  In September, 2009, prior to Lantigua’s election, Walczak and the city renegotiated a […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

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