Oklahoma City School Board chairwoman challenges opponent's candidacy

A hearing is set to determine if Marcia Muhammad can appear on the Feb. 12 ballot for chairman of the Oklahoma City School Board given her deferred felony conviction.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Modified: December 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm •  Published: December 8, 2012
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The chairwoman of the Oklahoma City School Board is challenging the candidacy of a potential opponent in the upcoming annual school board elections.

The incumbent, Angela Monson, alleges one of her opponents is ineligible to hold office under a statute that prohibits felons from sitting on the school board.

The would-be challenger, Marcia Muhammad, on Tuesday filed her intent to run for school board against Monson in the February elections.

Friday was the deadline to file challenges of candidacy.

Muhammad pleaded guilty in 2001 to two felony counts of falsely obtaining food stamps. Her sentence was deferred, and Muhammad told The Oklahoman that her legal counsel said that because the sentence was deferred she could be on a school board.

Monson said she disagrees.

“My interpretation of the law, along with others that I have visited with, seems to include that an individual that has entered a plea of guilty to a felony conviction is not able to serve in this capacity,” Monson said Friday.

A hearing before the Oklahoma County Election Board is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. Both Monson and Muhammad will be able to present their cases with evidence and witnesses. Muhammad must pay $250 to be able to enter an appearance at the hearing. Monson paid $250 for the challenge.

The election board will determine with the help of an assisting district attorney whether Muhammad's name should appear on the election ballot or if she should be declared ineligible to be a candidate.



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