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Democratic council candidate to withdraw name from ballot

A challenge to Mikayla Granados’ eligibility to run for county council was set to be in front of the Dubois County Superior Court Thursday but she filed her paperwork to withdraw from the race.

Senator Mark Messmer, the chairman of the Dubois County Republican Party, filed a challenge to Granados’ candidacy last Monday based on her felony record. That felony is set to be reduced to a Class A misdemeanor after August 27, but under Indiana code, anyone with a felony conviction is ineligible to run for public office even if the felony is reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.

In a letter published in The Herald on July 15, Granados stated the felony charge was based on police finding a medication belonging to her fiancé for a genetic disorder he suffers from. When the prescription was found in the home during a search, Granados was charged with the possession since her name was on the lease.

She stated in the letter that she opted for a plea agreement rather than a trial to avoid the potential loss of her freedom if convicted.

A movement to dismiss the case filed this evening by Ms. Granados’ attorney, Russ Sipes, states she decided to run for one of the three county council-at-large seats under misinformation from the Secretary of State’s office.

Democratic Party Chairman Mike Kendall has stated he spoke to the state election commission and was told Granados could run for office. Further, the filing from Sipes explains that Granados and Kendall sought advice from the state election commission after learning she was in violation of the Indiana Code. However, they were advised she could remain on the ballot until the chairman of a political party in the county or a candidate running for the same office filed for her removal.

According to Sipes, this information became apparent after the July 15 deadline for a candidate to file a withdrawal from the race.

Sipes’ filing also cites the Indiana Code as unconstitutional but Thursday morning, the court will simply have to rule on dismissing Messmer’s case as well as allowing Ms. Granados to withdraw since it is past the time in which she could do so.

The Dubois County Democratic Party will have 30 days to fill the vacancy on the ballot.

In an interview last week, Messmer said Granados has avenues to expunge her record in the future and potentially run for office.

Granados, a Jasper resident, is a pre-law student at St. Mary of the Woods with a 4.0 GPA who also cares for her disabled fiancé and child.

5 Comments

  1. What the hell… I’ll run. I’ve never been arrested let alone in trouble with the law!

  2. I think there is a really simple solution to Ms. Granados’s dilemma:
    According to her July 15 letter in The Herald, she said the drugs the police found was her fiancé’s medication for a genetic disorder. He apparently had a prescription, but it was found in the home during a search, so she was charged with the possession since her name was on the lease.

    She also stated in the letter that “she opted for a plea agreement rather than trial to avoid the potential loss of her freedom if convicted.” I assume, then, she is saying she really was not guilty, but just said he was.

    She probably could ask the judge to set her plea aside because: 1. She did not understand what she was doing and/or 2. Her lawyer (if she had one) made her plead guilty. It is likely the judge has never heard this before.

    Then, if it is set aside, she can ask for a trial. At that point her conviction is gone so she could run for office. When she wins her trial she is free and clear.

    A minor problem is that by pleading guilty (probably. under oath) she either misled the court (which might be obstruction) or committed perjury (which is also a felony). But this was she gets justice and a chance to clear her record. If its perjury, surely her advisor(s) are capable of resoling that glitch.

    Problem solved.

    1. They are in actually in the process of doing this.

      In this scenario, accepting a plea deal is neither obstruction nor perjury as she was under the impression by her lawyer that she was guilty.

      As she stated in that LTTE, “Because my fiancé was not on the lease, these prescriptions were legally in my possession. His entire medical history was turned over to prosecution, but the guilt was by association. I had to decide between a trial, which could result in jail, or a plea agreement to retain my freedom.”

      She could have challenged how stupid the charged sounded and possibly what in jail until it was over, lose her job, and still end up with charges considering how wrong her lawyer was about it.

      1. That’s what I figured: her lawyer made her do it.

        You might post the Probable Cause Affidavit to show how baseless the charge was. I have my sister’s prescription drug in my apartment and I am destroying them as I write this.

  3. My opinion is that this withdrawal of her name, etc, is the wisest/best decision she made or could have made thus far, all things considered – far better than her decisions leading to her being in such a situation to begin with. Any efforts and finagling to have her name/eligibility cleared simply to appear on the ballot either this time or in the future would net few votes. Problem solved – for real.

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