Prior conviction may prevent councilman from running for re-election

A criminal conviction might keep a Port Arthur city councilman from seeking re-election.

District 4 Councilman Robert Troy said he was convicted of felony theft in the 1960's, but was cleared to vote in the 70's.  He said he assumed he was okay to run for office.

Troy was elected in May of last year to fill the unexpired term of Harold Doucet.

Troy had already filed for re-election for the upcoming May elections, but has withdrawn his filings until it is determined if he is eligible or not.

Troy said the issue was brought up to him by the city secretary and city attorney. He said they told him it had not come up when he first ran for office because records were in archives and now they have been digitized and are more easily accessed.

Troy is meeting with his Houston attorney Monday to discuss his options.

Texas election law says to be eligible to run for public office, "a person must not have been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities."

Troy said he thought he had been released from that restriction when his right to vote was reinstated.


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