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Rumors were flying Wednesday night on social media that one of the incumbents unseated in the election Tuesday evening packed up and left their office for good.

People took to Facebook indicating they heard 24th Circuit Judge Sandy Martinez canceled her docket, cleaned out her office and left the courthouse for good. After word reached Martinez she gave a public statement to help the public better understand the moves she was making.

Martinez said it has been brought to her attention there are rumors circulating that she has resigned. She wanted to assure everyone this is not the case.

“It is true that I have had to continue a lot of cases due to the exorbitant amount of comp and vacation time that I have accrued,” Martinez said. “Even so, I will still lose a lot of that time. Additionally, after 18 years serving the community as circuit judge, I now need to allot some time to focus on getting my affairs in order before I lose everything in January.”

She explained she does not want to rule on cases in her last month that Jerel Poor, who won her current seat, will have to inherit. Martinez felt it would not be fair to make decisions that would affect him in January when he takes over as judge.

“I could make many rulings that he would have to deal with, but that would be unfair and as I have shown throughout my 18 years as judge as well as throughout this election, I believe in being fair and doing the right thing.”

Martinez kindly asks those who feel the urge to perpetuate these rumors and slanderous comments to abstain. To her friends and supporters, she said please do not allow these individuals and their attempts to attack her and her career to upset them.

“I appreciate each and every one of you who have shown me so much love and support,” Martinez said. “I am forever grateful to the community that opened their doors and arms to me 25 years ago!”

Prior to serving as judge, she had been a public defender and an elected county prosecutor. 

St. Francois County Prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin explained that two Fridays every month Judge Martinez has criminal dockets in St. Francois County.

“There would be two in November and two in December,” Mahurin said. “On those days typically we do several pleas, there may be possible probation violation hearings or bond revocation hearings, that type of thing. It’s normally just court business, again, some cases get resolved, but a lot of times it is just setting cases for trial or trying to get discovery back.”

Mahurin said with regard to it affecting his office, it would not be dramatically affected at all. He stressed he certainly understands she probably has a lot of time saved up since she works a lot of hours every week.

“I would imagine she has a lot of leave time, but it should not affect the office dramatically,” Mahurin said. “There will be probably a couple cases that will be continued, but we will resolve those if we can and I did ask her if there was something we needed her for if she would come in to resolve a very important issue.”

Mahurin said even if she is on leave, she said she would be willing to do that, so she is still available to his office and to the courthouse if needed. He said it should not hamper any of the cases that they have other than maybe a very short continuance of those.

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Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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