Fort Worth council to be briefed on deputy city marshal falsely accused of fraud

Posted Sunday, Nov. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The case of a deputy city marshal falsely accused of fraud by the Fort Worth Police Department is coming up in City Council executive session Tuesday.

Sgt. Mike Martinez Jr., 45, a deputy with the city’s marshal division, was arrested in mid-October on charges that he withdrew $500 from someone else’s savings account while on duty.

Martinez was arrested, charged and placed on administrative leave with the city during the investigation. The withdrawal, however, was determined to be a clerical error, and the charges were dropped Oct. 24.

The council is getting briefed Tuesday on “where we go from here and going forward with him,” said Jason Lamers, chief of staff for Mayor Betsy Price and the City Council.

Lamers said Martinez is to be reinstated but did not know Friday afternoon if Martinez had returned to work.

Martinez could not be reached for comment. The Star-Telegram did not find any evidence of a lawsuit filed in state or federal court Friday.

“Police investigators and the credit union have concluded that no offense was committed. The charges against Marshal Martinez, Jr. will be dropped immediately, and we consider this criminal investigation to be closed,” city spokesman Bill Begley said in a previous statement.

A customer had reported to the credit union that someone withdrew $500 from his savings account Sept. 6, and the investigation led to Martinez, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram.

The affidavit says the victim filed a police report and was allowed to view a video of the Sept. 6 transaction, which showed a suspect driving a vehicle marked with “City of Fort Worth Marshals” insignia.

Detectives contacted City Marshal David Camp, who told them that two officers were on duty that day — Martinez and another deputy. The other deputy signed out on the vehicle seen on the video and was ruled out as a suspect based on the video evidence.

A subsequent investigation indicated that a different bank customer with a name similar to the victim had withdrawn the money and that a clerical error in identifying the correct account had occurred.

Deputies in the city marshal division are responsible for finding residents with warrants and bringing them to court. Martinez has been a deputy marshal with Fort Worth since 2003.

This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst

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