State Rep. Ryan Martinez was charged Thursday with a felony in connection with his October arrest for driving under the influence.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office charged Martinez, R-Edmond, with “Actual Physical Control Of Vehicle While Intoxicated” and recommended that a warrant be issued for his arrest.
When reached by phone, Martinez said he was unaware of the charge and declined to comment.
State law forbids anyone convicted of a felony from serving in the Legislature.
According to a police report, Edmond Police officers were dispatched to The Patriarch in Edmond on Oct. 27 after the bar refused to serve Martinez and he was allegedly seen “stumbling” to his vehicle. When officers arrived, they found him in his parked car, sitting in the driver’s seat with the car running.
According to body cam footage obtained by NonDoc, Martinez tried to get out of the arrest by citing a state law that prohibits police from arresting sitting legislators while the Legislature is in session. The Legislature was in a special session at the time.
“Senators and Representatives shall, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, and, for any speech or debate in either House, shall not be questioned in any other place,” the provision reads.
When the officer asked who oversees the special session, Martinez offered to call Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“The governor and the speaker of the House and the president pro tem of the Senate,” Martinez said. “Would you like me to call Kevin Stitt right now?”
Martinez previously butted heads with Stitt during his time in the Legislature, calling the governor “racist” on the House floor over his treatment of Oklahoma’s tribes. He also led an investigative committee into the state tourism department’s dealing with Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen’s contract to operate restaurants at state parks.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater was not immediately available for comment.
The October incident was Martinez’s second arrest for driving under the influence.
In 2014, Martinez was charged with a misdemeanor in Oklahoma County District Court for driving under the influence, he was put on probation and the offense was later expunged from his record, according to The Oklahoman.