To the Editor: Martin addresses resignation

Today, I am writing as Wallace Martin, private citizen, since I was unfortunately forced to vacate my position as vice mayor of Ridgecrest, due to what I consider to be a politically motivated lawsuit.

In short, Scott Leahy ran against me for council in 2016, and he was defeated because the voters did not want a casino. Apparently, he did not like the election results, so he decided to drum up a bogus lawsuit against me to try to have me thrown out of office — thereby overturning the will of the voters. And with the help of fancy lawyers, probably paid by his not-so-secret backers…his plan worked. I eventually had to step down, not because I am guilty of anything, but simply because I was unable to come up with $75,000 in legal fees so I could be properly represented. These fees would apply even if I eventually won my case. So, even if I won, I would still lose.

For the record, both Kern County and the city of Ridgecrest supported my position. First, I have a letter from the Kern County District Attorney’s office saying it investigated one complaint in 2018 concerning residency and another complaint in 2016 dealing with filing for office and found no wrongdoing in both issues.

And second, even the city of Ridgecrest supported my case. I submitted a detailed letter about my residency issue to the full council in 2016 and the council responded with no concerns, questions or complaints. Voters said no to the casino twice. Anticasino or neutral appointment must be made until two pending lawsuits are settled.

In 2016 the voters emphatically said no, voting Lori Acton out of office and they said no to Leahy and Cox and others who supported the casino. Instead, the voters said yes to strong anti-casino candidates — me and Lindsey Stephens. In addition, two years later in 2018, the town emphatically said no to Steve Morgan and Reese Hogg, very strong casino advocates, and 5,000 voters overwhelmingly said yes to Dr. Scott Hayman, a strong anti-casino candidate.

Since voters clearly said no twice, in my opinion, to be fair to the voters, the council should only consider candidates for my replacement who are strongly against the casino, or at least neutral until a formal vote can be made for my permanent replacement next November. This is particularly important since we have two lawsuits pending and the the city is about to win both cases. This is why the tribe and developers are trying desperately to rush to have a pro-casino person put in so they can vote the casino back in quickly before these cases can be heard.

And finally, I leave office with my head held high, and I have no regrets for being a true patriot and a strong believer in God and country and for fighting hard for what I believe in. I ask that all the people of Ridgecrest stay strong and keep the faith because we will win this thing — and soon!

Everyone is invited to speak up at the critical council meeting on Dec. 18. Get all the facts at NoRidgecrestCasino.com. Six thousand citizens have already visited, including 13,000 views —more each day.

Thank you for allowing me to serve. And since we are only a few weeks away … Merry Christmas to all of you.

Wallace Martin

Story First Published: 2019-12-13