Despite recent revelations regarding her past, Killeen City Council candidate Rosalyn Finley said she definitely plans to continue her candidacy.
“I’m not a quitter,” she said by telephone on Wednesday. “God didn’t bring me this far to quit.”
Finley, 45, is a candidate for one of three at-large seats in the upcoming Nov. 3 election. She spoke at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, calling for preserving funding for housing and utilities relief.
According to records obtained by the Killeen Daily Herald, she has a 2002 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Ohio, and one for assault causing bodily injury to a family member in Killeen.
When contacted by phone on Tuesday about her convictions, she indicated that this was a “misunderstanding” and she said her Texas conviction for assault causing bodily injury to a family member from 2011 had been “thrown out.” With respect to her Ohio conviction, she felt her application to run for a council seat referred strictly to convictions in Texas.
She signed a line on that application that states, “I have not been finally convicted of a felony for which I have not been pardoned or had my full rights of citizenship restored by other official action.”
She filed the paperwork for the council seat on Feb. 7. The election was slated for May 2, but was postponed to Nov. 3 due to the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Finley also stated that an employee at Killeen City Hall had told her that as long as she had no pending cases within the last two years, she would be eligible to run in the election. She also stated she had gone over her application to be a candidate with both someone who works at City Hall as well as a colleague. She did not name either person.
Killeen spokeswoman Hilary Shine said the city is aware of reports about Finley’s felony past; however, the city is not looking into Finley’s case specifically. City staff is researching any candidate’s potential ineligibility, she said.
“Candidates have until August 24 to withdraw from the ballot,” Shine said by email on Wednesday. “The City does not do candidate background checks. Staff is researching the City’s responsibilities should a candidate’s eligibility become questionable.”
Finley said that the city did in fact run background checks in February.
“How would it not be the city’s responsibility to run background checks?” she asked.
Finley offered a broader opinion on the matter, and of the media coverage she has received.
“I think the racist climate in this community is rearing its ugly head,” she said. “This article is one of its ploys.”