FOLSOM (CBS13) — A Folsom City Council candidate is being criticized by some for not being the role model he claims to be.
CBS13 has learned Robert Louis Ross had a run-in with police in 2004. According to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Ross was charged with false imprisonment and violating a protective order in 2004.
He released a statement on Facebook Tuesday admitting to the charges, saying they were “non-violent.”
A view of Rob Ross’ campaign page shows him to be a self-proclaimed family man, and member of several local civic organizations.
But in 2004, the Sacramento County District Attorney says Ross was arrested and charged with three felonies including false imprisonment and kidnapping.
Ross was also charged with a misdemeanor of violating a court order.
The district attorney’s office says it later reduced the false imprisonment charge to a misdemeanor, and dropped the charges for kidnapping and destruction of a telephone line.
Court documents show Ross pleaded no-contest to charges of violating a protective order and false imprisonment.
CBS13 wanted to know if candidates running for public office must disclose their past and whether a criminal history could disqualify them from running. According to Jay Wierenga, communications director at the Fair Police Practice Commission, “Election codes can vary by locality, and some codes can be stricter than others.”
According to Sacramento County’s election code, anyone can run for state or local office as long as they aren’t in prison or on parole for a felony.
The county’s election code also makes no mention of requiring a candidate to reveal anything from their past during a campaign.
Ross posted a clarification on Facebook Tuesday, saying “The situation was a result of a verbal argument I had with a woman I dated … I decided to accept the non-violent misdemeanor charges to put this matter behind me.”
Ross did serve three years’ probation starting in 2005.
Ross says he remains committed to serving his community, and reassures the Folsom community that 12-year old “non-violent” misdemeanor charges will not impact his future capabilities.