Lawrence veteran officer convicted in towing scheme

Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - A veteran Lawrence police officer has been convicted of federal charges connected to a towing kickback scheme.

P.J. Lopez was found guilty Tuesday by a U.S. District Court jury of bribery, obstruction of justice, and lying to a federal agent. Prosecutors say the 16-year department veteran purchased several vehicles at reduced rates and received a $4,000 snow plow in exchange for sending police-ordered tows to M & W Towing from December 2010 to June 2011.

He later lied about the deal when being interviewed by federal agents.

The 47-year-old Lopez was freed under conditions pending sentencing Jan. 14. He faces a city termination hearing next week.

His lawyer said the case was based on testimony from unreliable witnesses, and Lopez was simply doing his job by having illegally parked cars towed.