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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 113452
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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25 yrs ago I was convicted of possession of cocaine with

Customer Question

Customer: 25 yrs ago I was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. I have been elected to a PA. school board. Can I serve ?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The Pennsylvania Constitution bars from public office anyone who has been convicted of what the Constitution calls an “infamous crime”, which the PA courts have interpreted to include all felonies as well as certain misdemeanors involving dishonesty or other “moral turpitude” (determined based on the nature of the crime). Thus, if you have a felony conviction you would not be eligible for serving in the office.
The rights to hold public office and to serve on a jury may be restored to state felons only through a pardon. See: 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4502(3). Thus, to hold office in PA, you would need to apply to the governor's office through the board of pardon and parole for a pardon in order to have the right to hold the office on the school board.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have asked the District Attorney for his opinion (ruling) since he is the person that would make the decision on my eligibility. He would not answer until there is a complaint and that would only happen after I have been sworn into office. Is that normal?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
That is correct, in PA the Attorney General will not issue "advisory opinions" and will only intervene when there is a case or controversy brought forward because they have to represent the commonwealth in any such case brought.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He also told me it is not a black and white issue. He would have to research how this crime relates to PA. since it occurred in FL.25 years ago. He told me I can take the oath and wait for his decision. If he says I can not serve All I would have to do is resign and that would be the end of it. Am I correct ? Thank you.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
That is correct, if they determine your felony disqualifies you under the PA Constitution and law above, then you would have to resign from the position.

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