Pueblo City Councilman pleads guilty to damage at Christopher Columbus Plaza

Pueblo District 4 City Councilman
Pueblo District 4 City Councilman(Jack Heeke)
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 3:32 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2022 at 1:36 PM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) -

UPDATE (1/19): Pueblo City Councilmember Vincente Martinez Ortega has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief charges for causing thousands in damages at the city’s Christopher Columbus Plaza last year.

As requested by his defense attorneys, the District 4 councilman was sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service and was also ordered to pay nearly $4,000 in restitution.

The misdemeanor charge allows him to remain on Pueblo’s city council.

The son of longtime local activists, Martinez Ortega told the court the dismay his parents would have felt at his actions.

“My mother spent three decades educating Pueblo on the true history of Christopher Columbus. My actions did her memory no honor.”

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PREVIOUS (1/7): Pueblo City Councilman Vicente Martinez Ortega, who represents District 4, appeared in court Friday to face criminal mischief charges.

The councilman won his seat last November but now stands accused of doing between$1,000-$5,000 worth of damage to the city’s Christopher Columbus statue this past May.

Roughly 50 people packed the courtroom today to hear Martinez Ortega’s defense. The councilman is the son of long time community activists Rita J Martinez and Jose Esteban Ortega.

Martinez Ortega’s defense asked to plead guilty to charges of first degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor charge which would allow him to continue serving on Pueblo’s City Council.

The defense asked for a sentencing of 100 hours of community service, unsupervised probation, and restitution payments which would be made to the city for the damages.

The judge appeared to agree to the misdemeanor charge, but would not grant unsupervised probation to the councilman despite arguments from the defense.

After going back and fourth the defense asked for a continuance which was granted.

Martinez Ortega will appear in court again on the morning of Jan. 19.

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