Anthony Flanagan, a Democratic for the District 3 board of commissioners seat, is allowed to run for office, having had that right restored after being convicted of a felony in early 1992, according to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Flanagan formally applied to the parole board to have his civil and political rights restored, and the board pardoned him and restored his rights in April 2009, according to parole board spokesman Steve Hayes. Being pardoned does not mean his criminal record was expunged, Hayes said, but it does mean he regained the right to run for office.
According to the Georgia election guide for candidates, "Persons who have been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude, unless that person's civil rights have been restored and at least 10 years have elapsed from the date of the completion of the sentence without a subsequent conviction of another felony involving moral turpitude."
Flanagan was released from state prison Sept. 10, 1993, nearly 20 years ago, and had his rights restored, meaning he is eligible to run for county commissioner.
The only right that Flanagan did not have restored was the right to "possess or transport in commerce a firearm."
Hayes said the process to decide whether someone should have their rights restored is generally a long process, taking at least six months and sometimes more than a year.
"The process requires the board to do a full background investigation of an individual, much like the regular parole process," Hayes said. "It's very lengthy and very detailed to ensure that the person has a led a law-abiding life for five years past the end of the sentence."
Hayes said the process to have voting rights restored is separate. According to the parole board's website, the right to vote is automatically restored upon completion of a felony sentence.