All’s quiet on the Martin investigation front |

All’s quiet on the Martin investigation front

Ryan Summerlin
Garfield County Commissioner John Martin

Whatever is going on (or not going on) with the request for an investigation into Commissioner John Martin, no new details have emerged since the district judge was asked to appoint a special prosecutor, and the case is sealed.

During Martin’s campaign for re-election, the opposing Garfield County Democrats accused Martin of felony embezzlement of public funds, stemming from inappropriately collected per diem advances and use of his county purchasing card during travel on county business. At the time, the county was not aware that Martin was receiving these advances.

In 2015 a forensic auditor reviewed Martin’s travel expenses at intergovernmental conferences over the course of a few years and concluded that he should pay the county back $1,800 for inappropriately using his purchasing card and collecting advances.

Martin has maintained that he did not do anything unlawful and that he is entitled to the advances he received because he also represented other intergovernmental organizations during these conferences, such as Colorado Counties Inc.

Initially, former District Attorney Sherry Caloia, a Democrat, said she believed it would be a conflict of interests for her office to investigate the complaint against Martin because the county commissioners approve her office’s budget.

The Garfield County Democrats, therefore, requested that Garfield County Judge James Boyd appoint a special prosecutor to investigate their complaint.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, the 9th DA’s conflict partner, has said that he would investigate the complaint if the request for a special prosecutor is granted.

Since then Boyd has sealed the case, hiding all details of its progress from public view. And no new information has come to light.

Martin said Sunday that he also has not heard any update, and he did not believe that Boyd had ruled on the request. The commissioner said there had been a request to withdraw the complaint, but he would not say who submitted that request.

The Post Independent’s calls to the Garfield County Democrats Chair Bob Shivley and Vice Chair Andrew Quiat were not been returned. Neither has Boyd responded to the Post Independent’s inquiry about whether he intends to rule on the request for a special prosecutor.

The newly sworn-in District Attorney Jeff Cheney said he does not believe that Boyd has yet ruled upon the request for a special prosecutor. Cheney added that he did not believe a special prosecutor is necessary in this case and that he would investigate the complaint if that responsibility fell to him.

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