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‘Fireworks’ Mayor Draws Prison Sentence, Resigns

Former District Heights mayor Eddie L. Martin was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday, following his conviction on misconduct charges.

Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Tiffany H. Anderson suspended all but two days of Martin’s sentence. He is expected to serve his sentence this weekend.

In addition, Martin was placed on supervised probation for five years and ordered to pay restitution of $22,252.50.

Martin was convicted by a Prince George’s County jury in November after being charged by the Office of State Prosecutor of ordering $50,000 worth of fireworks from a company in Indiana. 

“Martin, however, was aware that he was authorizing the purchase for an acquaintance for his own benefit,” prosecutors charged.

“Mr. Martin abused the trust of the residents of District Heights and the privileges of his office,” said State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III in a statement issued after Tuesday’s sentencing.

“He has now been held accountable. We will continue to do our best to ensure public officials discharge their duties responsibly.”

According to the District Heights treasurer, the town never paid for the fireworks that Martin ordered on city letterhead. The restitution was ordered because the firm that supplied them, Wayne’s World Fireworks in Bowling Green, Ind., was never paid.

Martin denied wrongdoing prior to his trial. He told reporters after charges were filed that he intended for the fireworks to be used by the city.

Martin resigned his post on Monday. Vice Mayor Johnathan Medlock assumes the duties of mayor, pending a vote on a replacement by City Commissioners, who were schedule to meet Tuesday night. 

Commissioners will also appoint someone to fill the unexpired portion of Martin’s term, which runs until May 2022. 

A news release issued by the city said, “Mr. Martin’s resignation and sentencing brings closure to a very troubling time for the residents and elected officials of the City of District Heights. The Commission fully understands how Mr. Martin’s conduct has adversely impacted how citizens perceive City government and how City government functions. Simply put, Mr. Martin’s conduct has severed the trust in City government.

The statement continued: “However, with this chapter now closed, it is time for the elected officials and citizens to come together to accomplish the many positive projects and activities that are occurring in the City. For the Commission’s part, it pledges to work to regain the trust of the residents of the City of District Heights and to move the City in a positive direction.”

Martin’s attorney, James J. Gigliotti, did not immediately respond to a reporter’s email.

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‘Fireworks’ Mayor Draws Prison Sentence, Resigns