GUAM TRANSIT OFFICIAL TO CHANGE PLEA IN THEFT

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 2) - A change of plea
hearing for a former high-ranking government official is scheduled to be held
next week, according to the court calendar.

Former Guam Mass Transit Authority General Manager Joseph
Antonio "Tony" Martinez is slated to change his plea Tuesday before
Superior Court of Guam Judge Steven Unpingco. He initially pleaded innocent
March 12 to numerous counts of abusing a government-issued credit card,
according to Pacific Daily News files.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan yesterday said he could not
comment on the plea agreement.

"Our office generally is prepared to discuss defendants
taking responsibility for their actions in order to save the taxpayers money
(from) having to pay for a trial," Moylan said.

Martinez, 51, was indicted Feb. 26 on charges of theft of
property, unauthorized use of a credit card and official misconduct. He was
released later that day on a $10,000 bond, files state.

Between 1999 and 2001, Martinez allegedly racked up more than
$6,000 in personal purchases on the agency's credit card on Guam and off island,
files state.

Former GMTA Deputy Manager Antonio "Tony" Diaz was
indicted Feb. 5 on similar charges for allegedly racking up $10,000 worth of
charges for a computer, airline tickets and clothing, among many other items. He
has pleaded innocent.

Martinez and Diaz resigned from their positions on July 19,
2001, after an audit showed the authority's credit card was used to purchase
thousands of dollars in meals at local restaurants and was used during an
off-island trip.

May 2, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com 

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