DA's office 'legally analyzing' Supler's treasurer run over 2012 felony conviction

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Ryan Supler is running for York County Treasurer.

The York County District Attorney's Office is vetting county treasurer candidate Ryan Supler's legal history after being notified he is a felon. 

The analysis comes after inquiries into whether fleeing from an officer would be considered an "infamous crime," a standard which Pennsylvania had historically applied that barred candidates for public office. 

Supler, of Chanceford Township, has two driving under the influence convictions, one in 2012 and another last year. In the 2012 case, he pleaded guilty to DUI, resisting arrest and fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, a third-degree felony. 

"We are legally analyzing the matter," said District Attorney's Office spokesman Kyle King, declining to comment further until a conclusion is made.

More:York County office-seekers address DUI records, including a felon

In recent years, courts have taken a more case-by-case approach to what is deemed infamous. For example, a county judge ruled in 2012 that a felony conviction decades earlier did not bar Michael Helfrich from serving on York City Council. He's now the mayor. 

Supler argued the crime shouldn't prevent him from serving, nor does it classify as an infamous crime.

"Of course I am eligible, I made ballot access," he said. "When it comes to the particulars of the case, (it's) still not infamous. It was a misdemeanor that was bumped up because I had alcohol in my system."

Supler added that if it was a disqualifying factor, he never would've made the cut to work for Fortune 500 companies such as Frito-Lay and Starbucks.

Sam Stretton, an attorney in West Chester, Chester County, backed up Supler's claim he should be eligible to hold the treasurer position.

"In my mind, it shouldn't be (an infamous crime)," he said. "He's got a good argument."

But that could be up to a judge on the York County Court of Common Pleas. If the DA's office believes his crime would classify as infamous, it would file a petition to challenge his ability to hold office.

This would often come after someone is elected, but it is possible to challenge beforehand, Stretton said.

If the judge were to agree, he or she would grant the petition. An appeal would likely follow, he said.

Ballots are expected to be printed in early May, said county election officials. If Supler were to be deemed ineligible to hold office after ballots are printed, they would have to be re-printed.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.