Citing “recent, unfortunate events,” state Representative David M. Nangle on Wednesday stepped away from his leadership position and committee assignments in the Legislature, one day after the Lowell Democrat was arrested on 28 federal counts alleging he raided his campaign fund to pay personal expenses and support a gambling habit.
The brief note was received by the House clerk via e-mail just after 11 a.m. Wednesday. It was addressed to “Mr. Speaker.” Here’s what it said:
“Due to recent, unfortunate events I believe it would be in the best interests of the House of Representatives that I step down from my leadership position and committee assignments. It has been an extreme honor to serve you, my colleagues and the citizens of the Commonwealth in my position as Division Floor Leader.”
Nangle didn’t indicate whether he intends to hang onto his job as a legislator while his case is pending, and his lawyer didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment. The veteran lawmaker could face a lengthy stretch behind bars if convicted on all counts.
"The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, said US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office in a statement announcing Nangle’s arrest. “The charges of bank fraud and making false statements to a bank each provide for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The charge of filing false tax returns provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $100,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”
Nangle pleaded not guilty to all counts Tuesday, and his lawyer called him a “good man who has proudly served his district as a state representative.” The lawyer, William H. Connolly, also said that the "charges against David are merely allegations. We will fight these charges in court.”
Prior to Wednesday, Nangle had served on the House Committee on Ethics, House Committee on Rules, and the Joint Committee on Rules. On Wednesday his biography on the Legislature’s website said, “This legislator is not a member of any committees in the current General Court. Please try a different General Court.”
Nangle’s federal case will be adjudicated in US District Court in Boston. He’s free on bond, and an initial status conference in the case is slated for March 19 at 10 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell, records show.