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EXCLUSIVE: Montebello Unified Superintendent Martinez Violated California Law and Education and Government Codes

BY BRIAN HEWS • Saturday August 10, 2019 • 5:20 p.m.


It was back in 2012 when Linh Dinh, after a rigorous hiring and recruitment process, was appointed to serve as the Montebello Unified School District Chief of Police.

Officials believed at the time that he was the first Vietnamese-American in law enforcement to ascend to the rank of chief. 

Buy by mid-2018 Dinh had resigned, just a few months after Dr. Anthony Martinez was appointed Superintendent.

Sources tell Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that Dinh, who took a lower level job at a Southern California Community College, did not feel some Board members supported him.

Under California School District Codes and MUSD policies and procedures, the MUSD Police Chief position should have been advertised and offered to “ensure a fair and transparent hiring process.”

California Government Code Section 1031 also governs all peace officer appointments in the state, mandating that candidates must possess mandatory minimum standards before they can be appointed to a peace officer position in California.

But apparently, MUSD Superintendent Dr. Martinez did not think any of those standards applied to him.

Sometime after Dinh left in 2018, without a formal hiring process and absent any qualifications as a peace officer, Dr. Martinez appointed himself MUSD Chief of Police.

For weeks Martinez was walking around telling everyone he was Chief, allowed to appoint himself given his Superintendent position.

As soon as the MUSD Personnel Commission learned of the appointment, the Commission, led by Chairperson Charlie Pell, Vice-Chair Yvette Fimbres and member Fernando Chacon called for a hearing.

And HMG-LCCN has obtained the June 2019 MUSD Personnel Commission hearing and order wherein the Commission slammed Dr. Martinez for violating the California Education Code, the California Merit System, the rules of the MUSD Personnel Commission, and California Government Code Section 1031 for appointing himself MUSD Chief of Police.

During the hearing, the Commission outlined several violations that the top official at MUSD perpetrated on his own district, at the end removing a smug Martinez from the police chief position.

They also ceased any future salary warrants for Martinez.

In the order document, the Commission wrote that Dr. Martinez violated the Merit System and the California Education Code 45272 when he appointed himself because he failed to possess the minimum requirements of the position and failed to follow the established examination procedures applicable to the position.

“This appointment was particularly egregious, given that the position at issue is responsible for the safety of MUSD students and employees. Such conduct by Dr. Martinez, the top cabinet member of his administration, made a mockery of the Merit System.”

The Commission also faulted Martinez for violating California Government Code Section 1031 which governs all peace officer appointments in the state and mandates officers possess minimum requirements for the position.

“Martinez did not possess any of the qualifications for police chief and did not undergo background checks, psychological examinations, or testing.”

In the end, it was evident Martinez did not care about his complete lack of qualifications, and his disregard of all codes and laws was reflected in his testimony to the Commission. 

He testified that “he never looked at the job qualifications for the position.” Once he did look at them he “admitted he did not have the qualifications or abilities.”

Martinez’ arrogance led the Personnel Commission to state, “MUSD Superintendent Martinez’ appointment of himself to the Chief of Police violated California law including the Merit System and Education and Government codes as well as the MUSD Personnel Commission rules. The MUSD Personnel Commission finds the appointment of Dr. Martinez void.”

The multiple violations of Dr. Martinez have been met with ambivalence from the MUSD Board which includes Board President Edgar Cisneros, VP Marisol Madrigal Uribe, Clerk Jennifer Gutierrez, and Board Members Joanna Flores and Alejandro Ramirez Jr.

Even though the hearing  document was dated June 11, 2019 and six Board meetings have occurred since the ruling, no action has been taken by the Board against Martinez for his actions.

This is not the first time Martinez has been involved in questionable actions related to MUSD.

In 2018, HMG-LCCN exclusively reported that high-level personnel inside Montebello Unified School District bypassed district policy and sold a surplus vehicle for thousands less than its actual worth to outgoing MUSD Maintenance, Operations and Transportation Director George Upegui.

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