Springfield Mayor to resign in 90 days after plea deal
SPRINGFIELD - Springfield Mayor Charles Martin will resign as his position within 90 days a result of a DWI cover-up investigation.
After taking a plea deal Monday, Martin apologized for making a mistake.
"I know it wasn't the right thing to do," he said. "You know, we discovered that it was an error in judgement, and I apologized for my actions."
Investigators say Martin and former Police Chief James Jones plotted to conceal evidence and obstruct the prosecution of a suspect arrested in April 2011 on suspicion of drunken driving. Martin faced four felony charges but plead down to one misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief.
"What happened here was wrong, and the way it happened was wrong," said Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell. "I think it's just a different day in age with the expectation of the public, and the good ole' boy system that some people think is in place. We just can't allow these kinds of things to go untouched."
Jones took a similar plea deal in April that required him to resign immediately, but Martin will have 90 days to transition out of office. Martin says he had planned to retire at the end of his term in two years.
The plea deal states Martin cannot seek reelection. Martin will be on probation for two years and will also pay a fine and serve 32 hours of community service. Martin plans to spend his hours of community service cleaning up the town's cemetery.
"I've always been a part of our community, and I'll continue to be a part of our community," said Martin. "I'll be there for my successor to help him in any way he needs, he or she, whoever it may be."
The Board of Aldermen for the town of Springfield will appoint an interim mayor when Martin leaves. Then the town will need to hold a special election for voters to choose a new mayor.