Despite What Some Say Was Precedent, Councilman Helfrich Allowed to Keep Council Seat
It’s interesting to note the contrast between York Judge Stephen Linebaugh’s decision and that of Lawrence County Judge John Hodge in a similar case.
In a March ruling declaring councilman-elect Gary Mitchell ineligible to hold office due to felony drug convictions, Judge Hodge ruled that “Although the defendant has made substantial and meritorious improvements to his life following his convictions, this court is without the authority to circumvent the law as set forth in the Pennsylvania constitution or the interpretations made thereto by our judicial system.”
Helfrich’s prior conviction for drug possession is not an “infamous crime,” Linebaugh ruled.— Rick Lee (@RickLeeYDR) August 1, 2012
Congratulations to councilman Helfrich for enduring the city administration’s public assault on not only his past, but his current decisions and character. This decision will only mean something to the bulk of York city residents if councilman Helfrich discontinues his pattern of voting affirmatively for the city administration’s policies and proposals. Let’s hope the newly invigorated councilman Helfrich, free from any potential judicial burden, can move past the city administration’s petty distractions and fulfill his promised role as the residents’ watchdog.