CAPITAN, N.M. (KRQE) – Forgery, fraud, and child abuse. Those are some of the convictions the newly elected school board member in Capitan has on her record.
The Lincoln County Clerk says a criminal record doesn’t necessarily disqualify someone from becoming a candidate. In Christine McCarty’s case, she just had to be a registered voter and a resident of Lincoln County.
On Tuesday, McCarty won a seat on the Capitan School Board with 241 votes, beating out two opponents. Soon after winning the election, KRQE News 13 found out McCarty has been convicted of multiple felonies.
Dating back from 2005 through 2006, McCarty, who went by Christine Alanis at the time, had convictions for harboring a felon, forgery, credit card fraud, child abuse and drug charges.
The Lincoln County Clerk says candidates aren’t required to state their criminal convictions when filing paperwork to run for office.
The clerk says McCarty qualified to run for office when she regained her right to vote after her felony cases were closed. “She was a registered voter since 2017. Her declaration of candidacy matches her voter registration and she was a candidate. She could qualify to run for office,” says County Clerk Whitney Whittaker.
There is a catch though. Now that McCarty has been elected, Whittaker says in order for her to take office on January 1, the ex-convict needs to get a pardon from the governor.
If she’s not able to get that pardon, the clerk says McCarty has the option to go to court to fight it. If that goes nowhere, then the position will be vacant and the board will appoint another member.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office says they are aware of McCarty’s case and it’s currently under review.
Multiple calls and messages were left to the Capitan School Board and McCarty herself, but no one responded.