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Lehigh County commissioners honor D.A. Jim Martin

By Marieke Andronache

Special to The Press

Just days before Thanksgiving, Lehigh County commissioners lauded District Attorney Jim Martin’s legacy as he prepares to retire at the end of the year, after serving the county since January 1998.

A former president of the Bar Association of Lehigh County, Martin was elected to six, four-year terms as district attorney.

The board approved a motion to rename the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center to the James B. Martin Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center. Commissioner Antonio Pineda reflected on Martin’s legacy.

“I don’t know if there’s anyone that has done more to promote and make our community as safe as it is and a great place to live, with the safety we have with District Attorney (Jim) Martin,” Pineda said.

“This is a very small way of saying thank you to the service he has given to our county.

“All the programs he has brought have done so much to make Lehigh County a great place to live.”`

Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt also commented.

“Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, he has done a lot for this county, including this RIIC,” Dutt said. “And I think it’s aptly named for something he brought to the county, as Commissioner Pineda said, to make us safer, to help with our investigations we need to do within Lehigh County.”

County Director of General Services Rick Molchany spoke of Marton’s contributions.

“We don’t name things often,” Molchany said. “His efforts in starting the RIIC are significant.

“He also fundraised extensively to lift this project forward, obtaining an excess of $5.2 million, continues to receive grants from Homeland Security to help us with gang violence, and drug trafficking. And now even human trafficking.”

Molchany, worked with Martin for 10 years.

“His efforts were always in the best interests of improving public safety for the citizens, businesses that call Lehigh County home,” Molchany said.

In other business, a bill establishing a nondiscrimination requirement; creating a Human Relations Commission; and providing for investigation and enforcement of claims of discrimination, was differed at Commissioner Zach Cole-Borghi’s request to the Dec. 6 meeting.

According to Cole-Borghi, there have been discussions at the committee level on how the Sunshine Act could come into play, with possible amendments.

This delay would allow for further consideration.

The Sunshine Act requires agencies to hold public meetings, with proper advertising, and allow the public to attend when official action is taken.

Press photos by Marieke Andronache Commissioner Antonio Pineda speaks about the legacy of District Attorney Jim Martin.
Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt speaks about the work of the RIIC and how appropriate it is to rename it after District Attorney Jim Martin.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin