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Mo. high court mulls if felon can stay in office

Mo. high court mulls if felon can stay in office

November 3rd, 2011 in News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court is sorting out whether a county official can remain in office despite having pleaded guilty to a felony years ago.

Herschel Young pleaded guilty in 1995 to felony assault after hitting someone who spat on his wife.

Young was elected presiding commissioner in Cass County last year. But a court ordered Young removed from office in February because a state law passed in 2007 bars felons from running for office.

Young's attorney says enforcing the restriction would add punishment for the earlier offense. And he says the prohibition applies to running for office, not holding it.

Cass County prosecutors say restrictions for felons were in place before he filed. And they argue Young cannot hold an office was for which he was ineligible to run.