Martin used government letterhead in 2017 to authorize the purchase and transport of Class B and C fireworks from Wayne’s World Fireworks in Bowling Green, Ind., on behalf of an acquaintance he met at a fundraiser. The fireworks by law can be purchased only by municipalities or individuals who possess federal explosives licenses.
“Mr. Martin abused the trust of the residents of District Heights and the privileges of his office,” State Prosecutor Charlton T. Howard III said in a news release Tuesday. “He has now been held accountable.”
Martin did not respond to requests for comment.
He previously said he was swindled “by a sweet-talking crook” who told him that District Heights could use some of the fireworks in its annual Fourth of July celebration. Martin said no city funds were spent on the fireworks.
According to the city’s charter, the four-member city commission could vote to elevate one of its members to fill the remainder of Martin’s term, which ends in 2022, or the city could hold a special election.
Medlock said he is hopeful that his fellow commissioners will select him to serve as permanent mayor and avoid spending money on a special election.
“The plan for me is to lead us out of this situation and into a new year,” Medlock said.
City Commissioner Cynthia Miller said the commissioners probably will not vote on a new mayor at their meeting Tuesday night. She declined to comment on whether she would vote for Medlock.
Pamela Janifer, a former city commissioner and one of dozens of District Heights residents who called for Martin’s resignation, said she was in court Tuesday and thought the sentence was fair.
“I am hoping now we can begin the road of healing for the city,” she said. “Because folks are very divided in the city right now.”