Plea deal eyed for top Public Safety trainer accused of lying on resume to get promoted
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A plea deal is in the works for the state Public Safety Department’s top trainer, who is facing felony perjury charges and other counts.
Her trial was set to begin Monday, but court records show the defense asked the court to push back trial because of plea negotiations — which are close to resolving the case.
Martinez is facing two felony counts for perjury along with 12 misdemeanor counts of tampering with a government record and lying on a government record. If the plea deal drops the felony counts, it’s possible that Martinez could keep her job as the head of training for DPS.
Martinez is in charge of training for all the sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers.
The felony perjury charges stem from a state Labor and Relations Board hearing from December 2019. While testifying, Martinez was asked under oath about her college degree and other qualifications which were listed on her resume. Prosecutors say Martinez lied.
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In February, the Labor Board concluded DPS, a law enforcement agency, covered up for Martinez.
“Nothing attacks and corrupts the judicial system more than perjury,” said attorney Ted Hong, who participated in the Labor Board hearings.
Hong said DPS doesn’t take perjury seriously.
Martinez is still getting paid by taxpayers while on leave. Hong said DPS should have continued an internal investigation even after Martinez was arrested in April 2022.
“It’s a no brainer,” he said.
A spokesperson for the department acknowledged in a statement that “there are no parallel, administrative investigations taking place.” The statement went on to say, once the criminal case is complete the department may pursue an internal investigation.
Megan Kau, an attorney who is not involved in this case, said it’s problematic that Martinez is still on paid leave without an internal, administrative case.
“In my opinion, the administration can and should do it’s own investigation despite the pending criminal charge and terminate her for cause,” she said.
If a plea deal is not reached, trial is set for October.
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