A Santa Fe City Council candidate has been accused at least twice of domestic violence against his wife—in 2010 and 2012—and was the subject of a “domestic violence welfare check” involving the couple last month, police and court records show.
Council District 4 Greg Scargall’s wife has twice filed for divorce—once in 2012 after accusing him of physical violence, and again last week, a month after the most recent incident.
Scargall, a 40-year-old who works as a teacher, denied all the allegations in an interview late Thursday. He has never been convicted of domestic violence.
He says he will stay in the race.
“I have nothing to lose,” he tells SFR. “If I come in dead last, I come in dead last. I’m going to continue living, I’m going to continue making a difference in people’s lives.”
Scargall’s wife declined to answer questions from SFR on Thursday.
Santa Fe Police officers were called to the Scargalls’ Pueblos del Sol neighborhood home on Sept. 11 around 9:30pm, for a “domestic violence welfare check.” When officers arrived, a police report says, Scargall and his wife said their argument had been “verbal only” and police left the home.
He was not arrested and is not facing charges.
Scargall denies that violence took place the night of the recent call. According to Scargall, he had asked his wife to leave the house that night “because the weekend prior she had put my daughter in danger.” He declined to comment further on the nature of their dispute.
He also denies that the call had anything to do with his wife’s recent filing for divorce.
Some of the older allegations against Scargall are more detailed and violent than the latest incident.
In 2010, his wife filed an application for a restraining order. In that instance, Scargall allegedly followed his wife around the house, yelling at and “threatening” her, as well as throwing a pot of posole into the sink, she wrote in the application.
Scargall made “false accusations” about her in front of her family and “maliciously” attacked her verbally, according to the document, which SFR obtained Thursday from the First Judicial District Court. In that report, she said that she was afraid he would retaliate against her and their two children.
"He yells at me and has a psycho look on his face and makes me shiver," his wife wrote. "I do not want things to escalate and get worse like it has in the past."
The case was dismissed after a “mutual” agreement between Scargall and his wife, court records show, but things appear to have escalated between them.
In July 2012, Scargall—who was then identified by the name Greg Lucero in court documents—allegedly physically attacked his wife. In her second application for a restraining order, she wrote that she had picked him up at a local VFW hall because he had “too many drinks” and she didn’t want him to drive.
Scargall has said publicly since then that he is a recovering alcoholic.
His wife in 2012 wrote that he began shouting at her and grabbing her clothing in the car in front of the couple’s two small children, who were 5 and 2 at the time.
Things got worse from there, the application says.
She wrote that once they reached the couple’s driveway, he “threw me around in [the] car and then started yanking at my face, grabbed me, threw me out, pushed me on the ground.” According to the application, the beating left bruises her on her face, neck, both arms, elbows and legs.
“Then he grabbed me by the face out of the car,” she wrote.
She went to a nearby gas station to take photographs of her injuries, the document shows. Scargall’s wife indicated in the document that her husband owned guns and knives at the time.
Five days after the alleged incident, she filed the application. A judge granted her request for a restraining order and, after two continuances in court, the judge dismissed the case.
Scargall has a vastly different version of events from the one his wife detailed in her application.
"That's why I plead not guilty and that's why those charges were dropped," he says. "What happened in 2012 was pretty much the last time I ever drank alcohol, and I had started going down a very dark path drinking."
He says he had gotten so drunk that he could not meet his family for dinner, his wife came to find him at the bar and they went home and argued.
“That was it,” he says, denying his wife’s allegations of violence. His wife petitioned for a divorce shortly after, Scargall confirms, but never completed the process, and the two remained married, which he attributes to his commitment to sobriety since the 2012 incident.
Scargall intends to stay in the race.
“Someone turned you on to this story because they need me to go down, I’m a threat because I speak the truth,” he said, adding that the most recent incident is being used against him “as a weapon.”
Scargall faces two opponents in the City Council contest for District 4, including Xavier Anderson, a public safety worker who also has an unprosecuted domestic violence case on his record.
Anderson’s now ex-wife asked for a protective order in 2010 when she said Anderson prevented her from leaving the couple’s home and stalked her.
Reached on the phone as he prepared for a candidate forum set to begin at 6 pm, Anderson tells SFR the allegations came up around the time of “an ugly divorce” and that the court later issued “mutual restraining orders.” The two divorced later, and he has since remarried.
Asked if he thought Scargall should withdraw from the race, Anderson says: “He needs to make those personal decisions on his own.”
The third candidate in the race is Jamie Cassutt-Sanchez, who returned home to Santa Fe with her husband and child less than a year ago. New Mexico court records show no similar cases with her name.
The three are vying to fill the spot being vacated by Councilor Mike Harris, who is not seeking re-election to the seat he’s held since 2016.
Scargall sought the seat in the 2018 election, coming in second in a field of three. At the time, he admitted an arrest charging domestic violence to a Santa Fe New Mexican reporter.
Absentee voting in the election has already begun, and the early voting period begins Saturday. Election Day is Nov. 5.
Editor's note: SFR endorsed Scargall in the City Council race in Wednesday's edition. Reporters and editors didn't find details about the past allegations and recent incident until after publication. SFR plans to reconsider its endorsement over the next week.
SFR editors Julie Ann Grimm and Jeff Proctor contributed to this report.
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Katherine is a Florida native in Santa Fe to cover the texture and life of the city's Southside using writing, photography, videography and audio. She's a grant-funded fellow in the Report for America program. Her second year as a corpsmember began June 1, 2020. Support her with a donation at www.sfreporte.com/rfa