Officer once fired for lying resigns after military service called into question

Ofc. Matthew Martin worked in Wilson County while suspended, records show

By Tim Gerber - Reporter/Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio police officer who won his job back last year after being indefinitely suspended has resigned from the department amid new allegations and is now facing criminal charges.

As the KSAT Defenders Tim Gerber first reported in May of 2017, officer Matthew Martin was fired from the San Antonio Police Department for lying about drugs he seized during a traffic stop.

Martin won his job back through arbitration but there was something contained in that arbitration ruling that sparked a new investigation and led Martin to resign before it was completed.

It's alleged Martin lied about his past military service and committed perjury.

WATCH THE FULL DEFENDERS INVESTIGATION ON THE NIGHTBEAT

"We're just going to say we found it all in the same spot."

It was a 2015 traffic stop that first nearly cost officer Matthew Martin his job for being untruthful. Martin and his partner stopped a car for traffic violations and found marijuana inside.

The driver was arrested and while Martin was waiting for a female officer to search the passenger, she made an admission to Martin which was caught on the patrol car's in car camera system.

"I have weed," the woman told Martin, informing him it was in her bra.

"If I pull it out for you now we can just get it over with," the woman said. "Nobody has to come. I don't want to waste your time no more."

Fully aware the stop was being recorded on video and audio, Martin told the woman what he was going to do.

"See that red flashing light? OK, everything is being recorded because we're working narcotics interdiction," Martin said in the recording. "So we're just going to say we found it all in the same spot, and that's -- that, ok?"

Rather than arresting the woman Martin looked the other way and cut her loose, only charging the driver for possessing all the pot.

When investigators at the Bexar County District Attorney's office saw the video they notified SAPD Internal Affairs.

Following an internal investigation, Martin was handed an indefinite suspension which is equal to being fired.

Martin fought the termination through arbitration and won his job back and according to SAPD he was returned to active duty on Aug. 10, 2017.

That wasn't the end of Martin's troubles.

Questions arise about Martin's service in U.S. Marine Corps

In the arbitration ruling it was stated Martin "spent approximately 4 years honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps," which he followed up with a stint in the US Secret Service "as a highly trained member on the presidential protective detail."

In March of this year, the Defenders received an anonymous letter which raised questions about Martin's military service.

The letter stated: "This is not true. I find it interesting and quite upsetting that someone would lie about serving in the Marine Corps, but apparently this is just what officer Martin did because I can assure you he was not a Marine."

READ THE LETTER HERE

The Defenders sent the letter to San Antonio Police and were informed in April the information was being investigated by Internal Affairs. Martin resigned from the department on Aug. 6, while that investigation was still ongoing.

SAPD said in a statement:

"The department received a complaint about untruthful statements made during Martin's arbitration hearing. A criminal case was initiated and a perjury charge was filed with the DA's office."

A search of Martin's official Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records revealed more troubling information.

Records show Martin began working for the Wilson County Sheriff's office in January 2017, during his suspension from SAPD, and that he has continued to be employed there for a year and 8 months, which overlapped his service at SAPD when he was returned to duty.

SAPD said it did not approve Martin to work for an outside agency.

The Defenders have asked the Marines and the U.S. Secret Service for Martin's service records which have not yet been provided. A person who works in the records department, however, confirmed Martin joined the Marines in July 1997, but said it appeared he never graduated from boot camp.

The Defenders have tried to contact Martin through his attorney for a comment, but he has not responded.

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