New information has come out that a Tomah mayoral candidate is a convicted felon. Le Roy Kelsey was convicted of taking nearly $7,000 from the Sparta American Legion back in 1990. That may seem like a long time ago but Wisconsin state law says no person can hold public office if convicted of a felony.
Le Roy Kelsey declined an on camera interview but told News 8 on the phone today that he thought his conviction in 1990 was changed to a misdemeanor. He said he served his time and thought that was all in his past. An investigation into the allegations is now underway.
The Monroe County District Attorney was informed Monday that Tomah Mayoral Candidate Le Roy Kelsey has a felony conviction on his record.
"So that's something that was obviously an immediate concern we looked into that and then also notified the department of Justice and the Government Accountability Board so they could take the steps that they need to take related to that issue," Kevin Croninger, Monroe County District Attorney said.
Now the investigation begins.
"My offices role in this would be to look into any potential criminal charges and before we make any sort of allegation its important that we have all the facts related to it," Croninger said.
The Tomah city administrator says the election will go on as planned.
"At this point its beyond challenge so that candidate will remain on the ballot as long as possible and will run through the election," Tomah City Administrator Roger Gorius said.
Gorius says if Kelsey wins the election, he will not be able to be sworn into office unless granted a pardon by Governor Scott Walker.
"If that person were to win and was not able to swear in it would be up to the common council to appoint a member to stand as mayor until we had a special election or until we run another election and it would probably be my recommendation to run the election in the fall," Gorius said.
Shannon Hough is running against Kelsey for mayor. She says Kelsey has let down the people of Tomah.
"My initial reaction was just kind of shock that this was even an issue that no one has ever questioned even though it seemed like a lot of people knew about it from what I was told," Hough said.
Kelsey told News 8 that he is working with the Justice Department and is trying to get the conviction changed to a misdemeanor.
There has been no time table set for when a decision will be made. Voters go to the polls on April 1.