Background checks uncover dirt on candidates
Background checks on this year’s field of 36 City Council candidates uncovered a felon, alcohol-related offenses, assault arrests, deadbeat parents, financial woes and a particularly vindictive divorce.
Each municipal election cycle, the Tulsa World relies upon records and databases from courts, jails, law enforcement and government agencies to vet those seeking public office.
The checks revealed current and past issues with 13 of the 36 candidates.
The city’s municipal primary is set for Sept. 13 and general election Nov. 8.
District 1: Democrat Jason Trent Jr., 45, is a convicted felon.
In 1994, Trent pleaded guilty in Tulsa County District Court for failing to return rental property, including a TV and VCR.
Trent was fitted with an ankle monitor, which he eventually cut off and left for Oklahoma City.
As a result, Trent was charged with escape, which he pleaded guilty to in 1995 and spent about 18 months at Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft.
“This all goes back to when I was addicted to crack cocaine and making a lot of bad choices,” he said.
“I’ll be honest with you, I was a straight up (screw) up.”
Trent said he has been “clean and sober” for 15 years, but when the Tulsa World brought up a 2001 charge for marijuana possession, he said he meant he was clean off of crack cocaine for that period.
Trent added he hasn’t used any illegal substances since that 2001 arrest.
In that case, Trent pleaded guilty in Tulsa County on charges of speeding, driving with a suspended license, obstructing a police officer and marijuana possession. He received a one-year suspended sentence.