in Houston, Texas
Texas law allows former sex offenders to run for public office
Friday, May 18, 2012, 01:25PM CST
By Mike Cronin
handcuffs

Simply because one is a convicted sex-offender does not bar that person from serving in some Texas elected offices.

And that’s the way it should be, says Mary Sue Molnar, director of Texas Voices for Reason and Justice.

“Anybody who doesn’t have a conviction has a right just like anyone else to run for office,” Molnar told the Amarillo Globe-News in a Thursday story. The San Antonio-based nonprofit organization she works for advocates for reforming sex offender laws to specify violent and nonviolent offenders.

Take the case of former Skellytown Mayor Warren Andrew Mills.

The 73-year-old pleaded guilty in 2007 to two counts of indecency with a child, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records, reports the Globe-NewsBobby Cervantes. The two girls involved were 8 and 16 years old at the time.

Mills stepped down about a month later.

But last week, Mills returned to public office. He won 51 of 146 votes to become a Skellytown city council member.

“We have people who have been charged with DWIs (and) they’re still running,” Molnar told the Globe-News. “Ultimately, it’s up to the voters.”

But things didn’t turn out so well for another Texas resident in 2008, Cervantes reports.

Registered sex offender James Brian Sliter’s run for mayor of Wilmer, a Dallas suburb, prompted death threats against the accountant and his friends. He pleaded guilty four years earlier to showing up to an Internet chat room sting where he thought he was going to meet a 15-year-old girl, for which he received 10 years’ probation. A week after announcing his mayoral bid, he dropped out of the race, according to reports.

Mills’ offense is not a felony, so he can run for and serve on the city council, according to state law.

***
Contact Mike Cronin at mike@texaswatchdog.org or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.

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Photo of handcuffs by flickr user The.Comedian, used via a Creative Commons license.

Comments
lynn robinson
Saturday, 05/19/2012 - 11:28AM

I think all politians are sex offenders based on what they are doing to the people of this country

tod
Saturday, 05/19/2012 - 10:17PM

No one should be barred from participating in the political process in any way, whether it's voting, serving on a jury or holding a political office. We are a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. Every citizen has the right to be heard, the right to be represented and the right to represent others. Being convicted of a crime should not exclude anyone from that process.

oncefallendotcom
Sunday, 05/20/2012 - 05:20PM

The difference between a sex offender and a politician? One is a bottomfeeder who violates and screws people and cannot be cured of their condition and is the scum of the earth, and the other is a sex offender.

Sandman
Sunday, 05/20/2012 - 09:35PM

So true Lynn. The politicians in office presently are much more dangerous than any sex offender i know.

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