"Councilman can’t take office because of ‘93 drug conviction" AP January 06, 2016
MCKEESPORT, Pa. — A newly elected city councilor has been barred from taking office because of a drug conviction from 23 years ago.
McKeesport Councilor-elect Corey Sanders pleaded no contest to two felony drug counts in 1993 and was sentenced to four years in prison. The Democrat was elected to the City Council in November but was prevented from being sworn in with colleagues on Monday night.
Kevin Francis McCarthy, Allegheny County assistant district attorney, said in a letter to McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko that Sanders’ conviction makes him ‘‘constitutionally ineligible to hold public office.’’
He has an ally in Ted Cruz; good thing the Constitution means nothing anymore.
McCarthy’s office said Sanders will need a full pardon from Governor Tom Wolf to be able to hold public office. Sanders has already hired a lawyer and petitioned the governor for a pardon, according to city Solicitor Jason Elash.
That may be hard to get.
Wolf’s office noted that he has no constitutional authority to issue pardons without a written recommendation from the board of pardons.
Councilor Fawn Walker-Montgomery came to Sanders’ defense, saying other members should have been subjected to the same legal technicalities being applied to Sanders.
Elash has been convicted of DUI charges but serves in public office, WTAE-TV reported.
Community members said Sanders has turned his life around and mentored young men to stay out of trouble.
I say put a camera on him.