State District Judge Rose Guerra Reyna, 206th District Court, ruled today that Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez can keep his job as a firefighter while serving as a State Representative for District 39. Judge Guerra Reyna ruled that Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez "simultaneous employment as a Municipal Fire Fighter with the Weslaco Fire Department and as a State Representative does not abridge the provisions of Article 3, Section 19 or Article 16, Section 40 of the Texas Constitution".

Representative Martinez said, "this is a pivotal day for all firefighters, police officers, and blue collar workers across the State of Texas. The ruling means I can go back to work for the City of Weslaco when the legislative session ends. I will go back to work because I never resigned". Weslaco City Attorney Ramon Vela stated that Representative Armando Martinez could not keep his job as a city firefighter and resigned the moment he took his oath as a State Representative. Vela cited a 1990 attorney general opinion by Jim Mattox, which was subsequently pulled and does not have any legality.

Representative Martinez said those who referenced the Mattox opinion had deliberately misled the people of Weslaco. "I have always said that before comments are made, or before going into battle, you ought to check your facts. We knew we were not breaking the law," Martinez said. Representative Martinez did not ask for the City of Weslaco to pay for any of his attorney fees as previously reported. Both the City of Weslaco and Representative Martinez wanted the declaratory judgment to clarify his employment status.

Representative Martinez will be holding a press conference at Valley International Airport in Harlingen at 2:35 pm on Thursday, March 17, 2005.

More Information Contact: Victor Guerra 512-463-0530