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Hawaii DPS head of training arrested for allegedly falsifying credentials

The employee in charge of training corrections officers and deputy sheriffs at the Hawaii Department of Public Safety was arrested this morning for allegedly falsifying her credentials to get promoted.

Special agents from the Department of Attorney General’s Investigation Division arrested J. Marte Martinez in Honolulu this morning, the department said.

She was charged with two counts of perjury, six counts of tampering with a government record, and six counts of unsworn falsification to authorities.

“The Department of Public Safety holds their employees regardless of rank or title to the highest standard of integrity and will hold them accountable if they breach the public’s trust,” DPS Director Max Otani said in a statement. “However, as we await the outcome of the investigation, it is important to keep in mind that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

The state Attorney General’s office said the charges arose from alleged conduct that took place from 2015 through 2019 while Martinez was employed by DPS.

She made false representations starting in 2015 when applying for various positions, ranging from firearms training specialist to performance based management coordinator, professional standards and accreditation manager, and public safety training officer.

Martinez was under scrutiny from the Hawaii Labor Relations Board for falsifying her credentials, including where she received her college degrees.

According to documents filed by deputy attorneys general in First Circuit Court on Wednesday, Martinez in December 2019 gave false statements during an administrative hearing before the state Labor Relations Board about her college degrees, transcripts and other credentials.

Among the charges are that Martinez in 2019 submitted falsely made or altered transcripts from the University of Northern Virginia and Southern Oregon University to DPS while employed as a public safety training officer.

If convicted, she potentially faces up to 22 years in prison and more than $40,000 in fines.

Martinez was released after posting $11,000 bail, the ATG’s office confirmed today.

“A felony information is merely an allegation and is not a criminal conviction,” the ATG’s office said in a statement. “Martinez is presumed innocent unless and until she is found guilty of the charges in a court of law.”

Source: Star

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