Another Former Tulsa Employee Appears In Court

Tuesday, February 3rd 2009, 7:41 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A former city of Tulsa employee accused of corruption makes a visit to a federal court in Tulsa. He is the latest person to head to court in the bribery and fraud case involving the city of Tulsa Public Works Department.

Albert Martinez pleaded not guilty before a federal magistrate. But federal prosecutors say the engineer had the influence to select contractors for city projects and he abused that power.

Martinez is accused of receiving kickbacks on construction projects and influencing city contracts through bribery.

The charges forced Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor to stop dozens of road repair projects until an investigation could clear contractors of any connection of fraud in the case.

The Tulsa City Council is now discussing an internal audit of the Public Works Department on top of a forensic investigation Taylor ordered last week.

Related story: 1/30/2009  Tulsa Hires Firm To Conduct Probe

"We hope to hire a firm quickly, get them on the ground this week, and complete that audit very quickly so we'll have an understanding if this fraud went to any other contractors, or if there were any other amounts the US Attorney didn't cover," Mayor Kathy Taylor said last week.

So far, five other men have been indicted on corruption charges.

Taylor says she hopes to know how much money the city lost in March.

As for Martinez, the federal court set his bond at $50,000. His trial date has not been set.