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Martinez Tees Up on Last Day in Office; 10 Seek Seat

November 13, 1986|H.G. REZA | Times Staff Writer

Councilman Uvaldo Martinez, who was convicted in September for misuse of a city credit card, was absent from City Hall on Wednesday--his last day as a San Diego councilman--while 10 people turned in nomination papers seeking appointment to Martinez's seat.

Aides to Martinez said that he chose to stay away from the office Wednesday and played golf. Martinez, 43, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of misappropriating public funds and falsely accounting for public funds after it was revealed that he illegally charged eating and entertainment expenses on a city credit card.

Along with the guilty pleas, Martinez agreed to resign his District 8 seat by the end of Wednesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced today in Superior Court.

Wednesday was also the deadline imposed by the City Council for applicants who are interested in being appointed to fill the vacancy created by Martinez's resignation. The City Charter requires the council to appoint Martinez's successor or call an election to fill the seat.

The council voted to appoint a temporary successor who will serve as caretaker until December, 1987, when a new council member is elected and sworn in. The appointee must agree not to run in next year's election.

Among the candidates seeking appointment to the District 8 seat is attorney Celia I. Ballesteros. Ballesteros, 55, ran against Martinez in 1984 and won in the district primary, but lost to Martinez in the citywide general election.

Paul A. Grasso Jr., who served as Martinez's executive assistant, is also seeking appointment to the seat. The other applicants are:

- Kathryn C. Willetts, 43, an architect.

- Stephen J. Settimi, 33, a consultant.

- John Rivera, 37, an administrative assistant with the county.

- Henry Empeno Jr., 34, an attorney.

- Jonathan P. Connor, 37, a management consultant.

- Louis J. Cella, 32, a public relations consultant.

- John F. Casey, 48, a city building inspector.

- Phillip Acker, 64, retired.

The council has scheduled two public meetings to allow district residents to comment before an appointment is announced. The first hearing will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The second meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 24. Free parking will be provided for the second hearing at the city garage adjacent to the Community Concourse. Both hearings will be held in the City Council chambers.

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