NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- John F. Coady, a ranking official in the embattled state Revenue Department and longtime friend of Gov. Edward J. King, hanged himself in the attic of his home, a coroner said.
Police were called by a relative to Coady's home at 7:21 p.m. Friday, police said.
Coady called his family in Seabrook Beach, N.H., earlier in the day and said he was not feeling well and was staying home, published reports said.
Dr. John Karbowniczak, the medical examiner, said the cause of death was ruled a suicide and Coady had been dead for at least five or six hours when the body was found.
Coady, 56, was a deputy commissioner in the Department of Revenue and former chief of the Lowell tax office.
The state attorney general's office has launched an investigation into allegations of widespread corruption in the Revenue Department.
The probe was revealed following the June 24 arrest of now-suspended provisional tax examiner Stanley J. Barczak, 62, of Lawrence, on bribery charges.
The Lowell Sun reported Saturday that Coady, a prominent figure in Greater Lowell-Lawrence politics, may have played a role in the hiring of Barczak in 1980. Barczak lost his job in 1981 because of budget cuts and was rehired in the Lowell office early this year.