For Immediate Release - March 09, 2010

Lawrence School Superintendent Indicted

Three Others Also Face Charges

An Essex County Grand Jury today returned nine indictments against Lawrence School Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy, eight of which charge him with "fraud or embezzlement by a city officer." He and his son, Wilfredo Laboy, II, of Methuen, who was indicted for perjury for allegedly lying to the Grand Jury, will be will be arraigned Thursday in Salem Superior Court.

"These indictments stem from a lengthy investigation between the Essex District Attorney's Office, Lawrence Police, Massachusetts State Police and the Office of State Auditor Joseph DeNucci," said Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. "The crimes alleged involve a serious violation of the public trust."

As stated in the indictments, Laboy, on divers dates from March 9, 2004 - March 9, 2010, allegedly had school personnel do work at his home and complete errands for his benefit while they were on school time and being compensated by the Lawrence Public Schools. The indictments allege that Lawrence school employees provided electrical work at the defendant's home in Methuen and met with contractors at the defendant's home during school hours.

The indictments also allege that employees of the Lawrence School Department provided graphic design work, materials and produced copies of menus for Sal's Pizza of Methuen.

The employees also provided graphic design work and produced copies of seminar materials, fliers, invitations, brochures and other documents for the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, while on school time and being compensated by the Lawrence Public Schools.

In addition, Lawrence school employees provided computer technical support for the defendant's computers at his Methuen home during school hours. They also removed trash from his house and disposed of it on Lawrence Public School property.

The indictments also allege that school employees provided transportation for his adult son, Wilfredo Laboy, II, from his home in Methuen to his workplaces at Sal's Pizza in Lawrence and North Andover. Lawrence school employees also provided transportation during school hours for Laboy's grandchildren from their school in Methuen.

Finally, Laboy is charged with possession of alcoholic beverages on a premise used for public school purposes and under the charge of a public officer.

Israel Reyes of Lawrence was indicted on two counts of larceny over $250. It is alleged that on divers dates from and between March 9, 2004 to March 9, 2010, he directed graphic designers employed by the Lawrence Public Schools to provide graphic design, printing materials and produce copies of political campaign literature and other personal documents for him. He allegedly ordered the graphic designers to provide graphic design, printing materials, and produce copies of political campaign literature for Massachusetts Representative Barry Finegold.

A fourth defendant, Mark Rivera, of Haverhill, was indicted on seven counts of larceny over $250. It is alleged that on divers dates from March 9, 2004 to March 9, 2010 , he misappropriated materials from the graphic design department of the Lawrence Public Schools for his benefit or the benefit of other private persons while the graphic designers, employees of the Lawrence Public Schools, were compensated by the Lawrence School Department.

According to the indictments, Rivera allegedly directed the graphic designers to provide graphic design, printing materials and produce political campaign literature for Priscilla Baez for Lawrence School Committee; Peter Larocque for Lawrence School Committee; Gregory Morris for Lawrence School Committee; Israel Reyes for Mayor of the City of Lawrence; Omaira Mejia for Lawrence School Committee; and for then-Massachusetts Representative William Lantigua.

The investigation determined that not all of the candidates knew that printing was being done on their behalf by the school employees.

Rivera also directed the graphic designers to provide graphic design, printing materials, and to produce copies of seminar materials, fliers, brochures, invitations and other documents for the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

The cases will be prosecuted by Essex Assistant District Attorney Maureen Wilson Leal, assisted by Special Counsel Thomas M. Donovan.

The investigation remains ongoing.

-30-