Pinal officer has record of disciplinary actions

A Pinal County adult detention officer charged with 18 counts related to defrauding inmate funds in September was reprimanded for mishandling the same funds nine months before his arrest, according to internal documents.

In a letter of formal reprimand, Sgt. Amado S. Martinez indicated he did not correctly transfer money between inmate fund accounts at the Pinal County Detention Center in Florence in June 2007.

Martinez also admits the documentation problem was ongoing, yet he failed to contact a supervisor to correct the issue, the document states.

Martinez was arrested on Sept. 19 and faces charges that include fraud, forgery, identity theft and computer tampering.

A Superior Court indictment accuses Martinez of forging checks and using inmate funds without authorization from the department between the end of March and the beginning of April this year. The total amount of money missing from the funds has yet to be released, but one charge is more than $3,000.

On the day of his arrest, Martinez was released on $100,000 bond, said Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Vanessa White.

Martinez will face his first pretrial hearing on Nov. 12, according to Kostas Kalaitzidis of the county attorney’s office.

Martinez was hired by PCSO in 1990 and promoted to sergeant six years later. During his employment with the adult detention center, Martinez faced a range of disciplinary actions.

His Pinal County personnel file notes that he required a counseling session from a supervisor in 1999 to remind him to receive approval before taking time off or altering his weekly schedule.

Less than three years later, Martinez violated the Pinal County code of officer conduct in November 2002 after he was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Chandler.

The arresting Chandler officer said Martinez showed several signs of intoxication, including watery, red eyes, alcohol on his breath and having difficulty standing, an arrest record says. His blood-alcohol content was also over the legal limit following the results of a blood test and a separate breath exam.

A month after his arrest, Martinez was convicted on a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless driving and received a $460 fine.

In 2006, he was suspended for one day without pay. A detailed report of Martinez’s charges leading to the suspension could not be found in his records.

SOURCE: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/129552

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