I am an elected official in Phelps County. When I decided to run for office, I went to the Clerk's Office and filed.

In doing that I filled out many different forms and had to sign and date them. I'm not exactly sure if one of those had a box to check before signing or if it was a simple statement attesting that I have never plead guilty nor been found guilty of a felony. In my mind that is a simple statement and without question. 

That said, after 45 years in law enforcement in different jurisdictions, agencies and supervisory levels, I sort of understand sentencing in the court system. It can be confusing sometimes. Basically, and over simplified, a Suspended Imposition of Sentence can be removed from my record after I plead guilty and then complying with all directives given by the Judge. I then petition the Judge to remove it from my record; however, in my mind it doesn't change the fact that I plead guilty first. Knowing that, how do I sign the statement, "Have you ever plead guilty to a felony?" It doesn't say, "Have you ever plead guilty but had the charges expunged." Note - Your record isn't sealed in this case, but that argument is for another time. 

If you sign the statement wrongly, there are only two excuses. I was confused or mistaken or I was outright lying because I knew better. If I later learned I was confused or mistaken, I would do what is right and resign, apologizing to my constituents for my error. It doesn't matter how honorable my intent was for running for office in the first place, I was wrong and would have the integrity to do what is right. Now, if I was lying....

I guess if I did somehow find myself in a similar predicament, unlike some politicians, I would hope my ego didn't compromise my honor and integrity.