Public safety trainer a ‘no show’ at hearing to question her qualifications

Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 8:35 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The controversial head of training for more than a thousand state deputy sheriffs and adult correctional officers did not show up Wednesday for a hearing to defend her qualifications.

Marte Martinez told a representative for the Department of Public Safety that she had a 'family emergency’.

Martinez was ordered to appear before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board to answer questions about her resume and education achievements after a series of Hawaii News Now reports in April that raised doubts.

Martinez had been promoted a handful of times with PSD and on each promotion application, she seemed to have additional degrees or certificates.

For her promotion in 2015, she lists a Bachelor’s of Arts from Southern Oregon State College, now called Southern Oregon University, but an email from that school’s enrollment office shows, they could not find any record indicating Martinez had obtained a degree from the institution.

Another document lists a degree from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine ― but in another email, school officials said they “could not find a J. Marte Martinez in the database.”

Martinez qualifications are important because ACOs and deputies have been criticized for their lack of training, after recent, high profile incidents.

The board is deciding if a fired ACO should get his job back because he says he wasn’t properly trained and blames Martinez.

His attorney, Ted Hong, wants the board to hold Martinez accountable for not showing up to the hearing Wednesday. Hong said Martinez should be required to show proof of her, last minute family emergency that she claimed kept her from appearing.

“I would ask the board (to) hold Ms. Martinez in contempt.” Hong has since filed a motion for the board to consider that.

The labor board also ordered PSD to turn over documents from internal investigations regarding Martinez’ qualifications but PSD did not completely comply with that order either.

“There are no transcripts from educational institutions, there is no verification of credentials,” said board member JN Musto.

In a statement, a spokeswoman from PSD said they made a “good faith effort” to turn over the documents.

The spokeswoman also said there is a continuing internal investigation into Martinez’ education and certifications. That investigation has already taken five months.

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