Former state rep. Jose Santiago pleads not guilty to violating restraining order

LAWRENCE — Jose Santiago, a former state representative, Methuen police officer, and ally to Mayor William Lantigua, told a former girlfriend that if she broke off their relationship “you’re not going to be with anyone,’’ a prosecutor said today.

Santiago, 53, was arraigned in Lawrence District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of violating a restraining order and was ordered released on personal recognizance. Essex prosecutors had asked for $10,000 cash bail.

In court today, prosecutors said Santiago’s ex-girlfriend had recently obtained a restraining order against him, one that he violated this weekend when he was waiting in the parking lot of the the nightclub where the woman regularly frequents.

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Santiago’s attorney said in court that his client denies being at the nightclub.

The weekend arrest was allegedly the second time that Santiago had violated the order obtained by the woman against him, an order she obtained after he allegedly threatened her.

“If you’re not going to be with me, you’re not going to be with anyone,’’ Santiago allegedly told the woman, the prosecutor said.

According to prosecutors, Santiago also bragged that he had political connections. “You’ll see, I’m well known ... nobody is going to believe you,’’ he allegedly told her, the prosecutor said.

Santiago is due back in court March 7 for a pretrial hearing.

Santiago was hired by the Lantigua administration as a city worker last December, on the same day that Lantigua fired a city worker, Tom Sapienza, who was on unpaid leave to care for his terminally ill wife, Heather.