Joe Dorman challenges rival Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate on criminal background claim

Joe Dorman, a Democratic candidate for Oklahoma governor, is challenging independent candidate Duston Joe Sills, saying Sills pleaded guilty to a felony 14 years ago.
by Rick Green Modified: April 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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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.


by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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