Former State Mine Inspector Given 30-Day Jail Sentence

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 17, 2007) Former State Mine Inspector Douglas Martin, 67, was sentenced today to a 30-day jail term starting in one year, April 16, 2008, and 18 months supervised probation. The sentence followed Martin’s guilty plea last month to one felony count of conflict of interest.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gama told Martin that if he did well on probation, the Court at a later date could vacate the jail term.

The conflict of interest charge was based on the fact that after Martin’s request for a new vehicle loaded with options was rejected by the Fleet Management Office of the Arizona Department of Administration, he went to a Ford dealership and traded in a State vehicle for lease of a new Ford 4x4 F-150 XLT loaded with options. He then submitted the monthly lease invoices to the State for payment.

As part of the plea agreement last month, the Court dismissed eight other felony charges that were based on Martin’s allegedly wrongful acquisition or disposition of seven other State vehicles.

Martin violated state law that prohibits public officials or employees from using their position to secure any valuable thing or benefit they would not normally receive in performance of their duties, when the thing or benefit “is of such character as to manifest a substantial and improper influence on the officer or employee with respect to the officer’s or employee’s duties.”

According to an audit by the General Accounting Office of the Arizona Department of Administration, Martin’s acquisition of the pickup truck violated Arizona Procurement Code provisions, exceeded the State Mine Inspector’s delegated level of procurement authority, committed the State to an installment-purchase lease agreement that the State could not constitutionally enter into and violated the requirement that all agency leases be reported to the State.

The case was investigated by the Special Investigations Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.