Ken Raymond, Staff Writer January 30, 2001, Tuesday City Edition Copyright 2001 The Daily Oklahoman THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN January 30, 2001, Tuesday City Edition
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Bill Martin, a retired Oklahoma City police captain and the central figure in the Glitter Dome police scandal, died Monday at Norman Regional Hospital.
Martin, 42, went into cardiac arrest at his Moore home Monday morning and was revived by Midwest City paramedics about 7:30 a.m. He remained in critical condition throughout the afternoon and was pronounced dead at 5:21 p.m.
No cause of death was released Monday.
"It's a very sad end to a life," said Irven Box, Martin's attorney. "He had gone through a lot of problems dealing with his alcohol addiction, and I thought he was winning the battle. I really did."
Martin, a 20-year police veteran, retired Dec. 19, just two days before a suspended sentence marked the end to criminal charges that plagued him since 1999.
His legal problems stemmed from two incidents in 1999, one of which ballooned into an all-out police scandal as an Oklahoma City attorney accused the police department of conspiracies and cover-ups.
The claims centered on events at the Glitter Dome police social club on Sept. 25, 1999. A female bartender accused Martin and other police officers of drugging and raping her at the club after it had closed for the night. Martin phoned the police dispatch center seeking help dealing with a "drunk" and "naked" bartender who was "going crazy."
Minor charges against Martin in the Glitter Dome affair later were dropped. Meanwhile, the bartender filed a $ 16.75 million civil lawsuit against Martin, the police department and the city of Oklahoma City. That lawsuit still is pending.
Soon after the Glitter Dome story broke, Martin was charged with sexual battery in an unrelated case after a female security guard claimed Martin groped her in the Bricktown district in downtown Oklahoma City. On Dec. 21, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of outraging public decency and was given a one-year suspended sentence. He also was required to make a public apology.
As the criminal investigations were ongoing, Martin checked himself into an out-of-state substance-abuse treatment center. He was in and out of residential facilities for several months.
"He was respected by other officers until the Glitter Dome," said Marty Stupka, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police chapter. "Of course, he's still respected by those of us who really know him."
Stupka said he will remember Martin as a hardworking police officer who was active in charity work, particularly with the Special Olympics.
"It's unfortunate his career ended as it did, and it's unfortunate that that's how he'll be remembered," Stupka said. "But he won't be remembered that way by his real friends. We'll remember his years of social service."
Box said Martin - who supervised the Bricktown police substation before his legal problems - was fighting clinical depression.
"The awful part for me was we got him through what I thought was the worst part of his legal difficulties, and we worked very hard to get him his retirement to see him through, and I really thought that after that he'd be able to get past his depression," Box said. "But I guess he couldn't."
Stupka said that Martin was taking prescription antidepressants.
"It's hard, going from where he was as a police officer to where he ended up," Stupka said.
Martin leaves a wife, Darlene; a son, Jeremy; and a step-son, Chris.