Governor Jay Nixon may be about to lose a cabinet appointee. Nixon’s choice for Economic Development Director, Linda Martinez, has had her confirmation hearing held up in the Senate. While several issues are causing Senator’s concern, The Source has found a new issue which may derail the process completely.
Linda Martinez is a Saint Louis lawyer in the Bryan Cave law firm. She has represented companies seeking state tax credits in the past. Now, she will be responsible for handing those credits out. The potential conflict of interest may be too big to ignore, and has caused her nomination to stall, despite her claims she will recuse herself when needed.
Now, The Source has found evidence that Martinez has taken state tax breaks herself to rehabilitate a condo she owns. Martinez owns the Paristyle Lofts building in Saint Louis. She and several partners set up a development company, Porfidio, LLC to fix up the lofts. Porfidio, LLC then applied for, and received, almost $1.4 million dollars in state tax credits. To our knowledge, Martinez had not revealed this to the Senate committee considering her nomination.
It should be noted that most of Nixon’s nominees have and will sail through the Senate with little opposition. This despite the overwhelming Republican majority. Republicans are clearly giving Nixon the benefit of the doubt on his choices, which makes the hold up and questions about Martinez even more significant.