Héctor Martínez Maldonado

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Héctor Martínez Maldonado
Member of the Puerto Rico Senate
from the Carolina district
In office
January 2, 2005 – March 12, 2011
Succeeded by Roger Iglesias
Personal details
Born (1968-09-01) September 1, 1968 (age 48)
Canóvanas, Puerto Rico
Political party New Progressive Party
Alma mater Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law (J.D.)
Profession Politician, Attorney

Héctor Javier Martínez Maldonado (born September 1, 1968) is a former Puerto Rican politician, attorney and former senator of Puerto Rico. He served as senator of the District of Carolina from 2004 until 2011. Martínez was convicted of bribery by a federal jury on March 8, 2011[1] and is currently serving a four-year federal prison sentence [2] after he resigned his seat on March 12, 2011.[3]

Early years and studies[edit]

Martínez was born on September 1, 1968. He is the youngest of five children from former Senator and Representative Héctor Martínez Colón and his wife, Persi Maldonado.[4] Martínez received his undergrad degree in Criminal Justice from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Puerto Rico. He later received his juris doctor degree from the Interamerican University School of Law.[citation needed]

During his time in college, Martínez represented Puerto Rico in several international competitions of swimming and water polo.

Political career[edit]

Martínez started his professional career working for a Judicial Commission of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives. He then worked as Special Aide to the Commission of Natural Resources, Environmental and Energy Affairs of the Senate of Puerto Rico. In 1996, he became an Associate Member of the Parole Board, becoming its Vicepresident in 2000. Martínez also worked as Freddy Valentín's aide in the Senate during the 90s. During that time, he admits having received checks and money from contractors on behalf of Valentín.[5]

Martínez was elected as senator for the Senatorial District of Carolina in the 2004 general elections.[6] As a result, he was named chair of the Senate's Public Safety Commission.[7][8]

Martínez was reelected in 2008[9] after winning the primaries of his party.

Legal troubles[edit]

In 2006, Martínez gained notoriety when he was linked to purported Puerto Rican drug dealer José López Rosario, also known as Coquito. López was shot in July 2006 by a rival dealer, and was in coma for six days. During that time, Senators Martínez and Lornna Soto, and Representative Epifanio Jiménez either visited López, or called to check in his status. It was later revealed that López was part of Martínez entourage, and had visited prisons with him as part of the Public Safety Commission.[10][11]

In June 22, 2010, a Federal Grand Jury indicted Héctor Martínez and businessman Juan Bravo on six charges of conspiracy, bribery, and obstruction of justice, among others.[12] Martínez alleged he was innocent and received the support of several leaders of his party, namely President of the Senate Thomas Rivera Schatz, Mayor of Canovanas Jose Chemo Soto, fellow Carolina senator Lornna Soto, and representative Eric Correa. Fellow Senators Carmelo Ríos Santiago, Norma Burgos, and Evelyn Vázquez were also present.[13]

The trial against Martínez began in February 2011 and, after two weeks of deliberation, a jury found Martínez and Bravo guilty.[14][15] Governor Luis Fortuño asked for Martínez resignation that night.[16] Martínez complied on March 12, 2011, albeit maintaining his innocence.[3] Martínez was sentenced to 4 years in prison on March 1, 2012. The sentence also included three additional years probation, attending a drug addiction rehabilitation program, and returning $17,500.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Martínez had a brief relationship with fellow senator Sila María González Calderón.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Puerto Rico Senator and Businessman Convicted in Bribery Scheme". United States Department of Justice. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.elnuevodia.com/sentencianahectormartinezyajuanbravoacuatroanosdecarcel-1202441.html
  3. ^ a b Lea la carta de dimisión de Héctor Martínez on El Vocero (March 14, 2011)
  4. ^ Héctor Martínez Biography from SenadoPR (through Wayback Machine)
  5. ^ Reaparece el ex legislador Freddie Valentín en juicio de senador Héctor Martínez on Primera Hora; Marrero, Rosita (March 1, 2011)
  6. ^ Elecciones 2004: Senadores por Distrito, Resultados por Distrito Senatorial Carolina VIII on CEEPUR
  7. ^ Abogados de Héctor Martínez y Juan Bravo denuncian “favoritismos” de juez federal on NotiUno 1280 (February 23, 2011)
  8. ^ Juicio a Héctor Martínez: Día 12 on Primera Hora; Marrero, Rosita and Francisco Rodríguez Burns (March 4, 2011)
  9. ^ SENADORES POR DISTRITO: RESULTADOS DISTRITO SENATORIAL CAROLINA VIII on CEEPUR
  10. ^ Hacen justicia en nombre de Coquito on Primera Hora; Aldridge, Leonardo (September 5, 2011)
  11. ^ Organización de Coquito ganó $65 millones en un solo punto on El Nuevo Día; Suárez Torres, Lymaris (May 11, 2010)
  12. ^ Cronología del caso de Héctor Martínez on El Vocero; Correa Velázquez, Melissa (February 14, 2011)
  13. ^ Senadores del PNP apoyan a Héctor Martínez, quien se canta inocente on Primera Hora; Marrero, Rosita (June 23, 2011)
  14. ^ Héctor Martínez y Juan Bravo: culpables on Primera Hora (March 7, 2011)
  15. ^ Culpables Héctor Martínez y Juan Bravo on El Vocero (March 7, 2011)
  16. ^ Fortuño exige la renuncia de Martínez[permanent dead link] on El Vocero (March 7, 2011)
  17. ^ Sentencian a Héctor Martínez y a Juan Bravo a cuatro años de cárcel. El Nuevo Dia. Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  18. ^ Son varios los Macaracachimba on Primera Hora; Sánchez, Janisabeth (April 18, 2008)