Last week, we broke the story that Norman City Council candidate Kelly Lynn – a candidate backed by the divisive Unite Norman – failed to acknowledge on a campaign form that he once pled guilty to a felony, despite the fact that OBSI records showed he did plead guilty to a felony in the late 1990s.
In the article – which you can conveniently read here if you're a Lost Ogle Member – we took a dive into the riveting topic of Oklahoma expungement law, and came to a general conclusion that Lynn pled guilty (or possibly "no-contest") to a three-year deferred sentence, completed the terms of the sentence, and then had the case dismissed, but not fully expunged from his record.
Either way, we figured the dismissal/expungement to be a moot point because the election form simply asks whether the candidate has ever pled guilty to a felony, something it looks like Kelly clearly did.
"In a literal sense, did you plead guilty as part of plea deal or arrangement?"
This was his reply:
First of all, I've never been charged with a felony, but if I did, I think I'd remember what I pled. Just like touching your first boob or selling your first drug, it seems like an important life moment you'd never forget.
Either way, I don't think Lynn's update really changes my conclusion from the original article. To repeat – The election form simply asks whether the candidate has ever pled guilty to a felony, and even though he can't remember, it looks like that's something Kelly clearly did.
Then again, I also see Kelly's point. I've talked to some attorneys who think Kelly should have checked "Yes" on the box, while others arent' so sure, and seem to agree with his assertion that since his felony was dismissed, his guilty or no-contest plea no longer counts.
Basically, it comes down to legal semantics and your interpretation of the law. For example, say you order some shawarma and falafel from Cous Cous Cafe on Door Dash, but the driver delivers you blueberry pancakes and hashbrowns from Beverly's. You then file a complaint to Door Dash, get the order comped and removed from the system, but still, naturally, keep the pancakes and eat them. If that happens, and someone then asks if you ordered Cous Cous for dinner, what do you tell them?
Okay, it's not a perfect analogy, but it's a riddle that I've been thinking about for the last few months and can't figure out. Please answer in the comments.
Anyway, I guess this concludes this update. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.