Just a few days ago, City of Chicago Hoisting Engineer Miguel Santiago died. I had a ton of fun working with the Clout Monster. Miguel Santiago was known by me as “Miguela Gorilla” and he called me Pig Pen. I have done research on the way Chicago gave him preferential treatment in his many workers compensation cases. Once he was driving down Cicero Avenue and claimed he hit a post while driving his backhoe. No police report and clout payments started right up. No questions. I really think Miguel had profoundly serious health issues not related to any workers compensation related injuries at work. Somehow, he was returned to work when the last administration was under fire after we put the fire under Alderman Burke’s ass for fraud at the Chicago scammy workers compensation system. This Committee on Finance helped Alderman Burke and his friends make millions.
I really do not think Miguel should have returned to work since the policy is not to return any injured workers unless they are 100%.
I really enjoyed all the banter and friendship I had with Miguel. Miguel thrived on the clout his father had. Miguel had some very desirable positions like the Hoisting Engineer on the Hydrant truck. Also, near the end of his sickness, he enjoyed working in the North District Office. He was never seen to load material. Clout at the Personnel Department and Water Department made things easier. Some of you might be thinking I am being harsh on my homeboy, I am not.
I wish Miguel only the absolute best and hope he is in heaven. I still see his grey teeth and that crazy grin as we teased each other. We both knew the answers to each other questions. Sad thing is Miguel was an excellent operator. I do not think he served an apprenticeship, but he took pride in his job performance. The Water Department will miss this guy. Having a guy this sick at work with a Covid-19 raging at the Department of Water Management made no sense. Passing away at 47 years old makes no sense.
R.I.P Miguela Gorilla, I will never forget your devilish smile.