Edmond lawmaker resigns Oklahoma House seat following non-driving DUI, legal dispute
Edmond Rep. Ryan Martinez will resign effective September 1.
The Republican lawmaker signed a plea agreement in Oklahoma County District Court for an October incident earlier this month. Martinez was found intoxicated by Edmond Police in a parking lot near the downtown bar The Patriarch with his car running last fall.
"It has been an honor to serve alongside those who work tirelessly to pass beneficial legislation at the State Capitol, and I hope they will continue standing up against corruption, providing the leadership and vision Oklahomans deserve," he said in a statement alongside his resignation.
Martinez’s status as a lawmaker had come up in filings by former lawmaker Michael Reynolds in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office had even filed a brief in support of Martinez vacating his seat.
Stitt attorney Trevor Pemberton writes that because Martinez agreed to a deferred sentence for a felony non-driving DUI, he must vacate his seat.
Pemberton writes, “state law forces the governor’s hand,” on the issue.
The nonprofit news outlet NonDoc broke the story and reported Attorney General Gentner Drummond disagreed. His office suggested Martinez can keep his seat because a deferred sentence isn’t the same as a felony conviction.
House Speaker Charles McCall concurs and says he believes Martinez should continue to serve.
Martinez, though, said he wanted to clear all confusion.
"While I have followed the guidance of my legal counsel and a letter from the Office of the Attorney General, there are differing opinions about whether I should remain in office," he said in a statement. "My intention has been to resign at the appropriate time to allow a representative to be seated for next year’s legislative session."
He continued, "With such legal uncertainty, I believe now is that time, so that my neighbors can be represented without distraction."