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Elvin Martinez Jr. of Hillsborough State Attorney's Office resigns over traffic violations

TAMPA — Already suspended from work for a drunken driving arrest, a Hillsborough State Attorney's Office administrator has resigned after being cited on additional traffic violations.

Elvin Martinez Jr., 38, submitted a three-sentence resignation letter to State Attorney Mark Ober on March 11, thanking him for the opportunity to serve as the office's community relations administrator.

The son of a retired Hillsborough County judge and former state representative, Martinez represented Ober's office on numerous local boards. He had served as chairman of the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance and the Family Justice Center, which helps domestic violence victims.

"We wish him well," Ober said Thursday.

Martinez was jailed in January on a charge of driving under the influence, and his license was suspended for a year after he refused to take a breath test.

But on March 9, a Tampa police officer spotted Martinez driving on Howard Avenue about 7:30 a.m. After a traffic stop, Martinez said he knew he wasn't allowed to drive but felt he really needed to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that morning and didn't have anyone to take him, according to a police report.

Officer Marc Cholnik issued Martinez a criminal traffic citation for driving with a suspended license with knowledge and also cited him for not having proof of insurance. The officer released Martinez on his own recognizance instead of taking him to jail.

"He regrets the situation that he's in," said Martinez's attorney, Norman Cannella Sr.

As in the case of the pending DUI, Ober's office will request that a special prosecutor be assigned.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Elvin Martinez Jr. of Hillsborough State Attorney's Office resigns over traffic violations 03/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 19, 2009 11:53pm]
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