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District Heights mayor charged with misconduct for fireworks purchase

District Heights mayor charged with misconduct for fireworks purchase

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The mayor of District Heights has been charged with misconduct in office for using city letterhead to buy fireworks on behalf of a friend.

Eddie Martin was charged Thursday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court, according to a news release from the Office of the State Prosecutor. Misconduct in office is a common law misdemeanor carrying any potential sentence that is not cruel and unusual.

On June 8, 2017, Martin — who was a city commissioner at the time — allegedly signed a letter on city stationery authorizing the purchase of $50,000 in fireworks from Wayne’s World Fireworks, according to the release. Martin represented that the fireworks would be used by the city, which is permitted to purchase otherwise prohibited Class B and Class C fireworks, the release said.

The fireworks purchased were actually bought by a friend of Martin’s, according to the release. Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan said Friday that no other individuals have been charged in relation to the incident.

Martin served as a city commissioner from 2004 until May 2018, when he was elected mayor, according to the District Heights website.

“Public officials cannot use their position to evade safety regulations for the personal benefit of their friends,” State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt said in a statement. “Our elected officials must be held responsible for improperly representing personal interests as the interests of the people that they are supposed to represent.”

Martin does not have an attorney listed as of Friday. He did not return a call seeking comment.

The case is State v. Eddie L. Martin, CT190627X.

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