[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Waterland Blog, nor its staff:]
Former Councilmember Martinelli Gives His Side of the Story
On October 22nd, 2021, I was arrested on six counts of domestic violence. I shouldn’t have been, which is demonstrable in the deal agreed upon by a conflict prosecutor and signed by a pro tem judge. Des Moines Prosecutor Tara Vaughn recused herself from the case only after filing the charges and taking part in my arraignment (a direct and unquestionable conflict of interest given I was a sitting member of the city council). The charges were never true, and were politically motivated from the start (for example, city administration and then-Mayor Matt Pina were involved in a manner that was entirely inappropriate and potentially illegal). The charges were based entirely on text messages – sent by my partner’s mom in a Word document – that were found to be heavily edited. My partner (who I will soon be marrying) denied the charges from day one, and still does. Her recorded interview with police, in which she denied all the charges, was conveniently “lost” after the police report incorrectly stated that she admitted to the accusations.
I resigned my seat from the city council only because the situation had become a distraction to the city I love, not because I admitted any guilt or wrongdoing. In the same vein, I agreed to the deal I did to avoid putting my family through a long, drawn-out trial. I was 100% certain I would win if the case went to trial, and my attorneys made it clear to the city we were willing to do so if they didn’t agree to our very specific terms. The deal that was eventually put on the table met these terms, and was good enough for me to accept: No admission of guilt, all charges being dropped and no active probation, in exchange for me taking a 6-month, weekly online class (90 minutes each week), which I have already completed, and a one day parenting class which is also required for any parent establishing a parenting plan (this I have also completed). The city signed off on this deal because they knew the charges wouldn’t stick, and they knew a trial would expose their misapplication of the law.
In regards to the Seattle Times article accusing me of emotionally abusing two of my exes, my comments will be short as to not interfere with any potential litigation that may be forthcoming, but I will say this: It was a calculated hit piece co-written by a reporter who has a multi-year long grudge against one of my former employers, and the accusations were made by two individuals who collaborated when making their claims and have known each other personally and professionally for well over a decade (something they purposefully did not disclose).
I’m writing this letter now, months later, to present my side of the story after allowing some time for the situation to settle. I remain incredibly proud of what I was able to accomplish in my two years on the council, which includes passing numerous policy proposals and getting the council to agree to allocate millions of dollars in assistance for Des Moines businesses and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. I understand that some may retain a very negative opinion of me, or may question my remarks in this article, and I don’t blame them given the massive misinformation that’s been put forward. That said, I will do everything in my power to factually present my side of the story and to continue working to improve our city, which has unfortunately taken a considerable step backward under new leadership and a further unchecked city administration.
If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at [email protected].
Thank you for your time Des Moines.
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