McKeesport, Pa., Councilman-elect Corey Sanders 
WTAE-Pittsburgh/USA Today screenshot

More than two decades ago, McKeesport, Pa., Councilman-elect Corey Sanders faced a drug conviction. Sanders pleaded no contest to two felony drug counts in 1993 and was subsequently sentenced to, and served, four years in prison.

On Monday, Sanders wasn’t allowed to be sworn in as a councilman in McKeesport, the Associated Press reports


In a letter to McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko, Allegheny County District Attorney Kevin Francis McCarthy said that the McKeesport councilman-elect was “constitutionally ineligible to hold public office.”

McCarthy’s office went on to state that Sanders would require a full pardon from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in order to hold public office.

Sanders is no longer his teenage self, according to Since his 1990s conviction, Sanders has become a business owner, vice chairman of the McKeesport Downtown Business Authority, a church leader and a family man.

And Sanders has several vociferous supporters.

Among them are Councilwoman Fawn Walker-Montgomery and John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Pa. In a statement, AP reports, Fetterman called on Wolf to issue a pardon to Sanders, saying that a drug conviction shouldn’t “banish one for life from participating in our democracy.”


According to WTAE-Pittsburgh, the governor’s pardon could come within days.

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