EXCLUSIVE: Suspended Rio Hondo Police Chief speaks out
Tue, 10 Mar 2009 16:48:54 GMT —
Time could be running out for Rio Hondo's Chief of Public Safety Sam Martinez.
Long-time lawman is on the possible chopping block at this Thursday special City Commission meeting.
Martinez talked candidly with Action 4 News about the accusations against him for the very first time.
The Rio Hondo police chief has been suspended since last month.
"It's been difficult," Martinez said. "It's been difficult for the family."
In his first television interview since his suspension, Martinez openly admits that he fears his time might be up.
"I'll put it this way... never before have I looked at the help wanted ads in the newspaper until all this came about," he said.
Rio Hondo City Manager Arturo Prida accuses Martinez of "double-dipping" -- getting paid for work at another employer while on the clock as police chief.
Martinez told Action 4 News he's never hid the fact he doubles his duties as a safety officer for Pizza Hut.
He called it an an "extra source of income" or a "low-paying job on the side."
Martinez insists that he did it on his own time since 1992.
That's seven years before ever landing the job as police chief.
Chief Martinez believes the suspension is retaliation for a criminal investigation against the city manger.
It began back in January and reportedly led to Martinez's computer hard drive at the police department getting erased allegedly at Prida's request.
While his fate now rests in commissioner's hands, the suspended chief said he hopes they do what's right for the people of Rio Hondo.
"I would do it all again...no regrets," Martinez said.
Repeated attempts to speak with the City Manager Arturo Prida went ignored but he is expected to appear at a the special meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Action 4 News will keep you posted on what happens at Rio Hondo City Hall.