The State Supreme Court has issued its ruling in a case involving a Jackson County legislator convicted of a federal misdemeanor in 1991. Jackson County Legislator Henry Rizzo, who pleaded guilty – in 1991 – to a federal misdemeanor of providing a false statement to a financial institution, will be allowed to run for reelection. The State Supreme Court has struck down a section of a law passed by the General Assembly in 2005. The offending section would have prevented anyone convicted of any federal crime – including misdemeanors – from ever holding elective office in Missouri. Rizzo challenged the law on constitutional grounds. A lower court held the law violated the equal protection clause of the federal and state constitutions – a ruling that was appealed to the Supreme Court, which has held that the offending section violates the state constitution’s requirement that bills contain no more than one subject. The lifetime ban was attached to legislation on political subdivisions – something not related – therefore the law remains in effect but the offending section is struck down. The bottom line – Henry Rizzo’s name remains on the Jackson County ballot.
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Missouri Supreme Court Ruling