Friday, August 18, 2023

State Rep. Martinez resigns amid fallout over felony DUI plea

Proverbs 20:1 says, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." True words.

State Rep. Ryan Martinez was arrested on a DUI-related offense back in October, escalated to a felony due to having a past DUI charge. As was the case with another fellow drunkard legislator, the intoxicated Martinez tried to use his "get out of jail free card" (newsflash: it isn't) and political connections to evade arrest -- to no avail. Martinex pled guilty earlier this month to the felony charge, receiving a one-year deferred sentence, $1,000 in court costs, and six months of an alcohol interlock device in his vehicle.

Statutory language prohibiting legislators from holding office with a felony conviction or plea launched a disagreement between Gov. Stitt on one side, and House Speaker Charles McCall and Attorney General Gentner Drummond on the other. I feel that Stitt is in the right on this, and McCall/Drummond are not. Martinez ended the argument by going ahead and resigning (triggering a special election). Many thanks to NonDoc for good coverage on this story over the months.

Bodycam footage of arrest

Martinez Releases Statement, Resigning Office

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, today issued the following statement saying he will resign from his legislative seat effective Sept. 1, 2023.

"While I have followed the guidance of my legal counsel and a letter from the Office of the Attorney General, there are differing opinions about whether I should remain in office. My intention has been to resign at the appropriate time to allow a representative to be seated for next year’s legislative session.

"With such legal uncertainty, I believe now is that time, so that my neighbors can be represented without distraction. I am therefore resigning my position of state representative for House District 39 effective Sept. 1, 2023.

"I take full responsibility for my mistake and apologize to my family, friends, and constituents who have supported me for the last seven years serving House District 39. I have engaged in court-ordered obligations prior to my plea, and faced my day in court without a conviction. I’m taking accountability for my actions, and making efforts to move forward.

"It has been an honor to serve alongside those who work tirelessly to pass beneficial legislation at the State Capitol, and I hope they will continue standing up against corruption, providing the leadership and vision Oklahomans deserve."


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