Cintron's Revenge

The old councilman wants to take out the new guy.

Fred Nance
Though Nelson Cintron lost his West Side council seat to Joe Santiago in the last election ["The New Guy," August 2], the battle is just getting started.

Cintron is spearheading a drive to recall Santiago, who has been in office just eight months. He's accusing Santiago of ruining his eight-year legacy, though it wasn't exactly a reign for the history books.

Cintron was ousted after being accused of wife-beating and loan fraud. For Santiago to maintain that level of public service, he'd probably have to rob a liquor store.

"This isn't about me. This is about the community," Cintron says. "I have tried to branch out and help [Santiago], but he won't accept it."

Cintron claims he gets "numerous" phone calls from people who are "afraid" of Santiago's connections with bars like La Copa, Envy, and Modä. Cintron says he contacted the new councilman on behalf of two citizens, but Santiago refused his predecessor's "advice." So Cintron plans to get Santiago kicked out of office, even if he doesn't know exactly how to do it. "It's gonna happen; we just don't know the protocol yet," Cintron says.

Santiago doesn't believe his foe has support. "It's unfortunate that people forget so quickly what they were dealing with, the past eight years before me," he says.

In fact, Santiago boils down Cintron's "community-driven" recall to a personal beef. He says Cintron called him with "threats," to which Santiago unleashed his own batch of "motherfuckers."

"If it took me cussing him out for him to do this, that's not grounds enough," Santiago says.

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