CIBOLO — A tie vote among City Council members means Stan “Stosh” Boyle remains mayor, setting the stage for his reelection campaign.
A public hearing Aug. 20 determining Boyle’s eligibility ended in a 3-3 draw after details emerged this summer of his arrest and conviction on a federal felony drug charge two decades ago.
Removal from office required five votes.
Revisiting the past over the last several weeks was one of the hardest things Boyle said he’s ever endured.
“I made mistakes early in my life and I make them today,” he said. “I say that every bridge I have ever crossed has made me a better person. My past has made me who I am today. I’ve never looked back, and I truly believe that I have made amends.”
Legally, Boyle isn’t out of the woods yet.
At press time, he still faced a state charge, filed in late July, accusing him of tampering with a government record. The probe is ongoing.
Such an offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000. Investigators say Boyle signed an application to run for mayor in 2017, but didn’t acknowledge his conviction or any clemency.
For now, the 43-year-old hopes to retain his seat by running for office again in the Nov. 5 election.
Meanwhile, council members Joel Hicks, Mark Allen and Jennifer Schultes, who pressed for the public hearing, voted to let Boyle keep his job Aug. 20.
Councilman Brian Byrd, the complainant, couldn’t vote.
At 21, Boyle was convicted in 1998 on a charge of conspiracy to manufacture ecstasy; he served four years of probation.
Texas law stipulates a candidate is eligible for public office only if he/she has not been convicted of a felony from which he/she has not been pardoned or released.
Boyle’s history surfaced following a two-hour executive session July 23. At the time, five council members voted for the mayor to forfeit his position.
Boyle declined, prompting August’s packed public meeting and subsequent locked vote on his fate.
In the past few weeks, numerous folks rallied behind Boyle; many appeared at the meeting wearing “#StandWithStosh” T-shirts.
Boyle didn’t provide documentation showing his conviction was nullified. As of press time, no records were produced indicating he requested or received a pardon or clemency.
“I am obviously disappointed in some of my colleagues’ logic,” Byrd said afterward. “He did not have a pardon, which was established, and because of the nature of his felony, he was not eligible for his release of disabilities. I thought I made that clear.”
Boyle’s supporters cranked out cheers following the outcome.
“It was a sound decision that will move Cibolo forward,” said Kara Latimer, a friend of Boyle’s who is running against him this November. “It will heal all the drama and allow us to move forward into these elections and focus on the issues that are really important to the citizens.”
Byrd said he learned of Boyle’s felony conviction from an anonymous source in early April. After verifying the claim through open court records, the councilman said he called the mayor to request proof his conviction was nullified.
No such documentation was provided.
At the advice of his lawyers, Boyle didn’t answer city leaders’ questions about his past, but did state that he was released from his “resulting disabilities,” a legal term many say has been only vaguely defined.
The interpretation of such terminology was a hot-button topic among Texas lawmakers recently. A proposed state law, initiated in response to a convicted felon running for Austin City Council last year, would’ve removed the prohibitive language and granted those pardoned the eligibility to become elected.
It died in legislation.
Schultes argued the term hasn’t been legally contested.
“All we have is an advisory opinion by the (state) attorney general that simply regaining your right to vote doesn’t mean you regain the right to office,” she said.
Like Austin contender Lewis Conway Jr., Boyle successfully completed parole, and had his voting rights restored. Opponents, however, said current legal language bars Boyle from holding office.
Meantime, Latimer believes she can defeat Boyle this fall, despite increased backing the mayor has garnered recently.
“I will present my ideas and the other candidates will present theirs and the residents will decide for themselves,” she said.