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Norman City Council candidate fails to admit he once pled guilty to a felony…

Earlier this week, we received a tip via the Ogle Mole Network that Norman Ward 3 City Council Candidate Kelly Lynnan attorney who was heavily involved in the Unite Norman campaign that further divided Norman – failed to disclose in his campaign filing paperwork that he once "pled guilty" to felony drug charges.

Well, at least that's what it looks like if you follow the paper trail.

Check out this snippet from Lynn's "Declaration of Candidacy Form." Notice how he checks the "No" box on the two questions surrounding felonies?

Those admissions, which were notarized, seem to directly contradict this OSBI record that an Ogle Mole passed our way. According to it, Lynn pled guilty to felony drug charges in Poteau way back in 1997.

Check this out:

I talked to some criminal defense attorneys to help me decipher the OSBI report, and it appears Lynn was arrested for "selling dangerous drugs," charged with "distribution of a controlled dangerous substance" (aka drug trafficking), and pled guilty to an (at the time) lesser felony charge of "possession of a controlled substance," and received a three-year deferred sentence in the process. For the non-legal beagles out there, I guess that means after three years of good behavior or whatever, the charge is basically dismissed and you can try to go about living your life like it never happened.

When that happens, usually the records are updated to show the charges as dismissed, but for some reason, that doesn't appear to be the case here. It could be an error, or it could be the charges were never dismissed. Who knows?

"But Patrick, can't you check OSCN?!"

No, we can't, because it appears the charges were expunged from his record. After taking a deep dive into the world of expungement laws with my pal John Hunsucker, and another local attorney who would make a great blog editor, it looks like Kelly only received a 991c expungement, as opposed to the more thorough Section 18. If he went the Section 18 route, the report would have been removed from OSBI. If only Lynn knew an attorney who could have helped him with all that.

"Okay, so the case was either dismissed or expunged. It's all legal semantics. Plus, the felony is from 1997. What's the big deal?"

I get what you're saying. I also did a lot of stupid, illegal things during my immortal 18 – 23-year-old days, and, fortunately, never got caught... by the police. As a result, I don't really care if an aspiring politician was arrested on drug charges in the backwoods of rural Oklahoma when he was a dumbass wearing JNCOs. Hell, if anything it would make me more likely to vote for the person because it shows they're relatable, made some mistakes, and can overcome them all to become a military veteran, attorney, and ally with cool guys who threaten teenagers with bricks.

Of course, that's only if the politician is upfront and honest about their past, and not trying to hide criminal activities when it comes to checking boxes on paperwork. Let's take a look at that again...

In a Facebook comment thread that was based off a tweet I sent last night that used incorrect legal jargon, Lynn seems to claim the whole thing was dismissed, and therefore the felony isn't relevant. BUT... once again... the form asks if you have ever been convicted of, PLED GUILTY, etc. That distinction is important.

Anyway, I guess the next question is what does it mean when you fail to acknowledge a felony guilty plea on a Declaration of Candidacy Form? That's a great question, and my mind is so fried from trying to understand Oklahoma criminal expungement laws that I don't have an answer at this time. Either way, if you live in Norman Ward 3, it may be something to consider when you go to the ballot box here in a few weeks.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.


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