FMCSA nominee faces first vote Wednesday; testimony reveals old DUIs

| November 06, 2017
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The Senate’s Commerce Committee is scheduled Wednesday to vote on the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee for head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Raymond P. Martinez.

This is the first of two votes for Martinez’ confirmation, with the nomination requiring a majority vote by the full Senate to officially assign Martinez as the next administrator of FMCSA.

In his oral testimony last week, Martinez signaled his support for the coming enforcement deadline for the agency’s electronic logging device mandate, but said he intended to speak with those opposed, most notably small business truckers, to hear their concerns about the mandate. He also said he intends to try to make the currently blanketed Compliance, Safety, Accountability program more accurate in its ability to judge carriers’ crash risk.

Martinez also filed written testimony with the Senate, revealing he was in his late 20s convicted twice for driving under the influence.

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He was first arrested in September 1987 in Fairfax County, Virginia, for a DUI. His second DUI arrest was in August 1989 in Nassau County, New York. Both resulted in convictions, according to the testimony submitted to the Senate. Martinez turns 57 in December, meaning he was 26 and 28 at the time of the arrests.

He’s since undertaken a long career as an attorney, as a civil servant working in transportation administration and other bureaucratic roles. Both convictions came prior to Martinez’ graduation from St. John’s University School of Law in 1993. He’s worked in the Executive Branch twice before, once as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and as a scheduling clerk for the First Lady under President Reagan.

Since 2010, Martinez has worked as the chairman and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Prior, he was the commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and chairman of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in New York. He also has worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, as the deputy chief of staff and special counsel.

Martinez testified before the Senate’s Commerce Committee last week, and he was not asked about the DUI convictions. The Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on Martinez confirmation Wednesday. If cleared by the Commerce Committee, Martinez’ nomination will be sent to the full Senate, where he must receive a majority of votes to be confirmed as FMCSA’s next administrator.

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