EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 6, 2013

Former state rep Santiago arrested

Police: Recently hired city worker violated restraining order

LAWRENCE — Fired police sergeant and former state Rep. Jose Santiago, recently hired as a city worker in a controversial move by Mayor William Lantigua, was arrested early yesterday for violating a protective restraining order obtained by his ex-girlfriend.

Santiago, 53, of 391 Chestnut St., #130, was arrested outside a club at 98 Essex St. at 12:20 a.m. on a warrant for violating the restraining order. Santiago was arrested by officers working the weekend night club detail shift in the downtown area, according to a police report.

On Wednesday, Santiago’s ex-girlfriend filed for the restraining order in Lawrence District Court. He allegedly violated the restraining order on Thursday outside a local night club, prompting police to issue a warrant for his arrest on Friday, according to police and court papers.

It was unclear why the woman filed for the restraining order. A copy of the order was not available yesterday.

Santiago was held without bail at Middleton Jail pending arraignment Monday in Lawrence District Court.

After he was taken into custody police asked Santiago if he had a vehicle parked nearby. He replied no, saying he has a suspended driver’s license. When he goes out, Santiago said he hires a driver, according to a police report.

Santiago, at times a political ally of Lantigua, was hired on Nov. 26 as a $15 per hour temporary worker in the public works department. He was hired in the public works department when DPW worker Tom Sapienza, 41, was let go from his eight-year laborer’s job because he had been on unpaid leave since August caring for his terminally ill wife, Heather.

Heather Sapienza, 40, died Thursday after a 19-month fight against cancer.

Tom Sapienza was delivered a pink slip, saying he not longer had a city laborer’s job, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Sapienza earned $18 per hour and has said he will seek to regain his job and return to work full-time.

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