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Convicted felon for sheriff

March 19, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Convicted of a felony? Want to run for public office in West Virginia - even for, say, sheriff?

No problem.

Earlier this year a man who had pleaded guilty to involvement in a vote-buying scheme in Lincoln County filed as a candidate for sheriff there. Negative publicity prompted him to drop out of the race.

But it was pointed out there is no law against a convicted felon running for and holding public office. That prompted state legislators to draft a bill banning felons from holding office.

State senators approved their version of the measure. But the House of Delegates version was allowed to die last week, because of concern it was not constitutional.

For crying out loud. Why did those with concerns about the bill wait until it was too late to revise it to object? That happens far too often in the Legislature.

Of course, the bill should be re-drafted and approved at lawmakers' earliest convenience - before a convicted felon wins election as sheriff in one of our counties.



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