By Gery L. Deer
Deer In Headlines
Republican State Representative Jarrod Martin of Beavercreek is facing drunken driving and child endangerment charges following a July 22nd traffic stop inJacksonCounty. Martin was pulled over after swerving over the center line while pulling a trailer without a tail light.
He then allegedly refused a sobriety test claiming that he was embarrassed to be seen on the cruiser’s dashcam. Two other adults and two children were in the vehicle as well.
According to police records, just over a year ago, Martin was found in the early hours of the morning drunk and slumped over a Chevy Suburban that belonged to State Representative William Batchelder, R-Medina, who had left his car in the garage.
State patrol logs indicate that officers tried, unsuccessfully, for more than 20 minutes to wake Martin until medics arrived. He was released to House Republican campaign director Mike Dittoe.
In May of last year Martin and several others were evicted from aBeavercreekhotel after police were called by employees for what they reported to be drunken fighting. Reports indicate that officers found Martin and six others highly intoxicated at a bachelor party. Martin’s parents were called and the men were removed from the hotel. The representative was not charged in either incident.
Martin’s latest problem comes only a few days after another Republican state representative, Robert Mecklenborg ofCincinnati, resigned after he reportedly failed to disclose a drunk-driving arrest.
Let’s face it, politicians are human but at the same time, they should be held to a higher standard. It seems like those who most forcefully argue for stiffer penalties and regulations of alcohol or drugs tend to be the ones who are so publicly misusing them.
Through written statements, Jarrod Martin maintains that alcohol played no part in the most recent incident and intends to vindicate himself in court. However, whether or not he was intoxicated this time, the facts are clear on the previous two incidents and any regular citizen would have been hauled off to jail in either case.
Perhaps some of the officers responding to these incidents simply did not want the headache and paperwork that would come with arresting a sitting legislator. It is possible that they are afraid of being fired or denied promotion and other benefits were they to arrest an important political figure.
Government officials proven to have used their political credentials to avoid prosecution for serious offenses like DUI or child endangerment should be forced to resign. By the same token, law enforcement officers should be fired who ignore their duty because the subject is a politician.
Martin’s guilt or innocence in this most recent occurrence will be determined by the courts, but his records indicate that he clearly has an issue with alcohol. The use of alcohol, or any other drug, is a choice. If he is going to continue to do it, he is going to continue to have problems.
The official reports show that Martin’s republican associates have covered for him time and time again. Is theOhiorepublican party guilty of willingly participating in a campaign of misinformation relating to the sobriety of their members? And what does it say about a state representative whose mommy and daddy have to come rescue him from a drunken party?
The whole situation is disappointing and Ohioans should think twice about returning government representatives to Columbus who they already know to have bad judgment.
Constituents should keep in mind, when it’s time to vote on important issues like alcohol and child welfare, that same poor judgment could be employed on the floor of the state legislature.
Gery L. Deer is a local business writer and columnist. Read more at http://www.deerinheadlines.com.