An independent candidate for governor pleaded guilty to a felony 14 years ago and, therefore, is not eligible to run for public office, another candidate told the state Election Board on Tuesday.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman is challenging the candidacy of Joe Sills.
The board will hold a hearing Monday to decide the matter.
In his challenge, Dorman included documentation from Cleveland County District Court showing Sills pleaded guilty on April 19, 2000, to a felony charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
In a form he filled out to go with the guilty plea, Sills described riding a motorcycle that had been taken from another person.
The form also indicated he would get a deferred sentence.
Contacted Tuesday, Sills said he was surprised by the challenge.
“That was so long ago, I totally forgot all about it,” he said.
He said he still wants to run for governor and would contact the attorney who represented him in the criminal case to get further information.
Sills, who is a motorcycle enthusiast and delivers newspapers, filed for candidacy wearing motorcycling leathers.
People who have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving embezzlement or a felony or who have pleaded guilty to such charges are ineligible to run for office for 15 years.
Dorman also filed a challenge to the candidacy of Kimberly Willis, who is also running for governor as an independent. He said she was not registered as an independent for the six-month period required for her to run as an independent.
Willis said she has been an independent for longer than required and will contact election officials to discuss the matter further.
Dorman is the only Democratic candidate against Republican incumbent Mary Fallin. Chad Moody and Dax Ewbank also are running as Republicans. Richard Prawdzienski is running as an independent.