Prosecutor Clears Martin

Garfield County Commission Chairman John Martin has been cleared by a special prosecutor appointed to look into allegations of felony embezzelement leveled at Martin during last year’s election.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, a Democrat, says no charges will be filed in connection with the allegations made by Garfield County Democratic party leaders and the Democratic candidate that ran against Martin in the election, John Acha.

The primary complaint made by Democrats was that Martin had been compensated twice for certain travel expenses connected to intergovernmental conferences that Martin had attended. Martin’s meal expenses during those conferences were covered by the county, but since Martin was also representing Colorado Counties, Inc. at the conferences, he also received a per diem from CCI.

Democrats argued that the situation amounted to felony embezzlement and pushed for a special prosecutor to investigate. Martin has consistently maintained that he never knowingly broke any statutes, and that the per diem advances were appropriate because he was was also representing CCI.