AG Coakley sues Lawrence Mayor Lantigua over finance report - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

AG Coakley sues Lawrence Mayor Lantigua over campaign finance report

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BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua for failing to file a 2011 campaign finance report.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, calls for Mayor Lantigua to pay a civil late-filing penalty and requests that the court order him to file his 2011 year-end campaign finance report with OCPF. Lantigua Committee Treasurer Ana Soto is also named in the suit.

The 2011 report was due by Jan. 20, 2012.

"Political candidates by law are required to accurately report campaign contributions and expenditures," AG Coakley said. "These disclosures ensure the integrity of the electoral system and help voters make informed decisions about who to support. Mayor Lantigua was ordered repeatedly to file these disclosures and pay the subsequent fine, yet has refused to do so. We are now seeking a court order compelling him to make these fundamental disclosures required of all political candidates."

The civil late-filing penalty the attorney general is asking the court to enforce on Lantigua has reached a maximum of $5,000.

Coakley filed the suit on the same day House Minority Leader Brad Jones announced  proposed legislation that would close a loophole in the state's campaign finance laws. In a press release, the Republican from North Reading says current law only allows the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to block candidates from running for state or county positions if they refuse to disclose a legally required campaign finance report. Jones' proposal would extend that law to all elections in the state, including municipal elections.

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