York Dems say DA's review of Supler's felony is political hit
York County's Democratic Party chairman called the legal review of treasurer candidate Ryan Supler's past felony conviction a political hit job.
The York County District Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday, April 4, that it is "legally analyzing" Supler's 2012 DUI; at the time, he also pleaded guilty to fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, a third-degree felony.
"The recent question of Ryan Supler’s eligibility to run for county treasurer is less about legal standards and more about the political games constantly being played among the Republican elected officials in York County," party Chairman Chad Baker said Friday.
The analysis comes after inquiries into whether fleeing from an officer would be considered an "infamous crime," a standard Pennsylvania had historically applied that barred felons from public office.
District Attorney Dave Sunday is a registered Republican. Spokesman Kyle King reiterated that the office is legally analyzing the matter but declined to comment further.
York County Republican Committee Jeff Piccola said he wasn't aware of the DA looking into Supler's history, and he will let the office determine the candidate's eligibility. Yet Piccola still suggested voters take a pass.
"It will be an issue in the campaign because, in my mind, I don't think anybody should be voting for someone with a felony conviction," he said.
In recent years, courts have taken a more case-by-case approach to what is deemed infamous. For example, a York County judge ruled in 2012 that a felony conviction decades earlier did not bar Michael Helfrich from serving on the York City Council. He's now the mayor.
Supler has maintained the crime shouldn't be labeled as infamous. Baker agreed, adding, "it's clear Supler is willing to put himself out in the public eye and willing to be held accountable for his decisions and actions.”
The York County Court of Common Pleas would handle the petition If the DA's office concludes Supler's crime would classify as infamous.The court challenge could come before or after the primary election.
If the judge were to agree, he or she would grant the petition and Supler could appeal.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.