[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 Anthonym1230@gmail.com.

Thank you for your time Des Moines.

Best regards,
Anthony Martinelli

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9 replies on “LETTER: Former Councilmember Martinelli gives his side of the story”

  1. Anthony, while I appreciate the time you put in for our city I questioned some of the legal issues that you claimed were your brother and/or someone used your name before your election. Not once but multiple offenses, so I find it hard too believe that you were innocent in this matter as this is not the first time. Abusers claim innocence their whole life and never take responsibility. I am glad you were forced to take classes, I hope that what you learned will help you in your future. Best to your and your family.


  2. This makes so much sense now it all seemed fishy from the start the city is so shady. Thanks for giving us your side Anthony

    1. Abusers always have a side…their side! I do not think a council member in the little old city of Des Moines is going to have a huge (let’s get him and take him down scenario). He was not that important. The city is not shady…they didn’t abuse his partner, he did. Abusers notoriously also blame everyone else but their self so I’m not sure where “this makes sense” even comes from. However, he perhaps has learned a lesson and will strive to be the person he thinks he already is. There is always hope!

  3. anthony you were a great council member and to me it is clear the Des Moines government was politically persecuting you by pursuing such bogus charges… the police report was absurd. good you have yo7r voice back.

  4. I remember this council member steadfastly refusing to resign even after the court hearing that basically gave him probation. Then suddenly he posted his notice on FB that he was stepping down. I also recall him announcing that he was starting a newspaper. Whatever happened with that?

    I might consider him more credible if he took more responsibility for his actions. I rarely take conspiracy theories seriously and it’s just hard to believe that all partners current and past, a mother-in-law, the mayor, prosecutor, *and* the police are all lying.

    Also quite the flag to announce his intention to marry his alleged victim now, after these charges and after he was ordered to stay away from her.

  5. Hello “Turtle”,

    We have been planning on marriage since shortly after our son was born -during covid. There are no orders in place and we are currently living as a family. Aside from the 2 who made false claims for personal gain myself and Anthony’s other partners know this entire thing to be non sense and lies. From the start I have said as much. I never said those things, they never happened. Something everyone would know had the Tuwklia PD not lost my 45 minute sworn testimony as to the accusations made by my foster mother after a huge fallout between us that she blamed Anthony for.

    1. Amber, why does the police report say different? You were the one telling your mom and sending pictures of the abuse. Most abused women “defend their guy” until they die defending him. Take care of you and your child first!

      1. Carrie,
        The police report is not my sworn statement nor is it a full transcript of what I said (my mother got a full transcript down to her cough include ) the Tuwklia PD included false synopsis from a detective who threaten and harassed me into speaking to him (using my children as leverage). The whole thing was based a word document that I didn’t write with a few random pictures 1 of which was right after my son was born and I was having a hard recovery. That was used to fuel the lies my mother created after I refused to kidnap my son from his father and go work for her without pay so she could retire.

  6. More lies and manipulations from the city’s worst council person behind the council person who hit a special meeds child. Yet another black mark on the city of DM. Based on this public response/excuse, I doubt he’s actually getting anything out of his classes. Jail time probably wouldn’t work either tbh. At least he can’t sit on council in our city and continue to push freebies for himself while making claims he’s donating his council earnings or creating any “foundations”. Total joke. I feel sorry for all of this victims and his family.

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