Update below: KHOW radio host and self-described Troubleshooter Tom Martino was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence in a pre-Christmas incident involving his wife. Today, Martino returned to the airwaves -- but while he alluded to the bust, he declined to discuss it. Meanwhile, questions continue to be asked about why Martino remains in the KHOW lineup when another veteran host, Peter Boyles, was fired last year after a physical altercation with a co-worker that didn't result in criminal charges.
Here's the Denver Police Department description of what took place:
On 12-20-13 around 2315 hours, in the area of Auraria Pkway and I-25, the suspect, Martino, Thomas 09-4-53, was driving...with the victim, Martino, Holly...sitting in the right front passenger seat. The suspect and the victim began arguing. While the vehicle was stopped at a unknown red light the victim opened the passenger door to get out of the vehicle. The suspect put his arm around the victim preventing her from exiting the vehicle. When the light turned green the suspect drove away and they continued arguing. The suspect then struck the victim in the face once with a closed fist causing a bloody nose. This disturbed the peace of the victim.
The suspect and victim are husband and wife and have been married for 9 years.
Afterward, Martino posted the following on his Facebook page:
Holly and I remain deeply in love and committed to each other and to our family. The incident that happened Friday night was a foolish mistake. We were both drinking too much. We got into an argument that escalated over a struggle for a cell phone. We were both inadvertently injured and we were not trying to hurt each other.
My overreaction was uncalled for. I am ashamed of my behavior. I should've walked away. I also believe alcohol was a major catalyst. We are dealing with our issues through professional Christian spiritual counseling, with mutual love and support. We advise anyone dealing with these struggles to seek help before there is an incident.
Since then, Martino, who was cited for harassment in Douglas County last October (the case was subsequently dismissed), has kept quiet about the matter -- and anyone listening to his KHOW program at 10 a.m. this morning in the hope that he'd break his silence on the topic was undoubtedly disappointed.
After teasing news about "what is coming up in the new year economically and financially," including references to mortgages and real estate, he said that "unless you are on another planet," you've "heard about a situation and some personal matters I'm dealing with -- personal matters away from work. And all I can say is, I can't talk about that. I ask that you respect that."
Then, after mentioning his more than three decades as a consumer advocate, and the millions in cash services and refunds he managed to win for folks over the past year alone, he shifted into a conversation about "really important issues," including "trends in the tenant-landlord business."
As such, listeners are left to read between a bare handful of lines. However, the reference to "personal matters away from work" could well be an attempt to differentiate his situation from that of Boyles, who was sacked last year after leaving a red mark on the neck of longtime producer Greg Hollenback by pulling on a lanyard his co-worker had been wearing.
In an interview with Westword, Boyles pointed out that his contract with KHOW had lapsed at the time of the Hollenback incident and negotiations were at a standstill -- timing that presumably made giving him the heave-ho a cost-saver for the Clear Channel-owned station. However, Boyles landed on his feet: He was hired at KNUS, and in recent months, he has consistently racked up better ratings than those registered by KHOW, which replaced him with Mandy Connell, a yakker new to the market.
Is Martino still a KHOW employee because his actions didn't take place on the job? And what's his contract status? We've reached out to KHOW program director Dan Mandis in the hope of answering these and related questions, and moments ago (update) we received the following statement from Pat Connor, market president for Clear Channel Denver:
Tom is not a KHOW employee and 630 AM only carries his show; nonetheless, we take this type of allegation very seriously. We are monitoring the situation and will take any necessary action pending the final outcome of the charges. In the meantime, Tom will be back on the air. We cannot share any further details for privacy reasons.
Here's a larger look at Martino's mug shot.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Tom Martino's greatest hits include an ambush of a Westword writer."