Former Mass. State Rep, Jose Santiago, in Court

(NECN: John Moroney, Lawrence, Mass.) – A former Massachusetts state official was in court Monday, charged with violating a restraining order. His case is getting a lot of attention thanks to his current job and his ties to Lawrence, Mass. Mayor William Lantigua.

Former state representative and fired Methuen police officer Jose Santiago was in Lawrence District Court, charged with violating a restraining order involving ex-girlfriend. It’s one of four separate orders that he's been the subject of over the years involving three different women, according to prosecutors.

Santiago now works for the city's DPW, apparently hired by embattled Mayor William Lantigua, who is said to have given the job to Santiago after refusing to extend the leave of absence of another employee who was caring for his sick wife. The woman has since died and her husband, Tom Sapienza, is now preparing to sue the city.

Lantigua's term has been plagued with allegations of corruption. Two top aides have been indicted, and, last week, the state placed a lien against the mayor for non-payment of taxes.

Even friends who came to court to support Santiago said his hiring is just one more reason why Lantigua has to go.

Santiago was released on personal recognizance and he's been ordered to stay away from the alleged victim in this case. He's expected back in court in March.

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