Fort Worth deputy marshal falsely accused of fraud sues credit union

Posted Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The deputy city marshal falsely charged with fraud in October is suing the Fort Worth City Credit Union for at least $1 million.

Deputy City Marshal Mike Martinez was arrested and charged with fraud in October, on accusations that he withdrew $500 from another person’s account. The withdrawal, however, was discovered later to be a clerical error by the credit union.

The lawsuit, filed in Tarrant County civil court Monday, claims employees of the credit union failed to provide accurate and truthful information to police during the investigation and negligently published false information about Martinez.

Ron Fox, president of the credit union, would not comment on the lawsuit Thursday.

In an October article by the Star-Telegram published after the charges were dropped, Fox said: “In short, we supplied police with items they requested and it just happened really fast.”

He said Martinez “did not do anything wrong.”

The lawsuit alleges that video surveillance linking Martinez to the credit union was inconsistent with the time of the withdrawal and that credit union employees Fox and Zane Archer denied Martinez had made a deposit into his own account while he was at the bank.

Martinez later supplied proof that he had made a deposit of $479.38, the lawsuit says.

Both Fox and Archer, listed as the credit union’s head of information technology, are also defendants in the suit.

Martinez was arrested Oct. 15 and terminated without pay from the city marshal position after an administrative hearing regarding his conduct on Oct. 22, according to the lawsuit.

Later, he was reinstated as deputy city marshal after the charges were dropped.

Martinez did not comment on the suit. Attorney Mark Haney, representing Martinez, said he was not comfortable with his client commenting.

The lawsuit claims Martinez suffered “past and future mental anguish, injuries to his name and reputation in the community, expenses incurred for his criminal defense, posting of bond and for expungement, lost wages and loss of earning capacity” and that his damages “are in excess” of $1 million.

The credit union is a nonprofit operation open to employees of the City of Fort Worth, Medstar, museums in Fort Worth and certain companies that contract with the city, according to its website.

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

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

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