EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 8, 2013

Santiago has history of restraining orders

Former State Rep. accusedof hitting his former girlfriend


She described Santiago as a hard worker. “The problem here is the mayor,” said Marmol, a 20-year resident of the city. “The focus point should be the mayor,” she added.

Santiago, of 391 Chestnut St., #130, spent the weekend in Middleton Jail. He is accused of coming in contact with the woman, outside a Lawrence club last week, prompting Lawrence police to issue a warrant for his arrest on Friday.

Judge Brooks warned Santiago to stay away from the woman, stressing not to contact her in any way, including by email or phone. If he violates those conditions, Brooks said Santiago would immediately be put in jail for 60 days.

Santiago was dressed in a black suit and purple dress shirt, the same outfit he was wearing when police arrested him at 12:20 a.m. outside a club at 98 Essex St. After the arraignment, the handcuffs and shackles Santiago wore to court were removed, freeing him to walk out of the courthouse on his own. He evaded a throng of media gathered at court for his arraignment.

Santiago was a state representative from 1999 to 2002, losing that seat to Lantigua, who then went on to being elected mayor in 2010. Santiago was also a Methuen police officer from 1983 to 1996. He was fired from the force when he refused to take a retraining course at his own expense. He is also a former Lawrence city councilor.

Michael Kostyla, Santiago’s defense attorney for yesterday’s hearing, said Santiago has strong ties to the community. Last week, when the alleged restraining order violation occurred, Santiago had an alibi. He was with his brother, Kostyla said.

Santiago does not qualify for a court appointed attorney. He must hire his own attorney to handle his defense. His next court appearance was scheduled for March 7.

When he was arrested, Santiago told police his driver’s license was suspended and he did not have a car. It’s unclear if a valid driver’s license is needed for a city laborer’s job.

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