N. Ky. official's convictions investigated

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Associated Press

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A county attorney in northern Kentucky says he is investigating the criminal record of a city commissioner and whether she is legally able to hold office.

Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson confirmed the probe of 44-year-old Michelle Williams to The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/11GZtEC) and said he would make a recommendation to the Covington City Commission and the Board of Elections. The newspaper reports Williams has several misdemeanor convictions.

Williams declined to comment on the issue, saying she wanted to speak to her attorney first. She was elected in November and began serving in January.

According to the state constitution, a person cannot hold public office if convicted of a felony or a "high misdemeanor." An attorney general's opinion has said there's no statutory definition of a "high misdemeanor."

That opinion in 1981 is "still good law," according to the Attorney General's Civil Division Director Clay Barkley.

"There's no case law since 1981 that has altered that opinion. This interpretation is the law," Barkley said.

The newspaper cited public records that show Williams' convictions include charges of theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic offenses.

Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe says candidates for office are not required to disclose their criminal history.

"There is nothing on the paperwork that has you indicate any criminal record, or even anything pending," Summe said.

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Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com

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