Before becoming mayor of Leavenworth, Jermaine Wilson served close to three years in prison for drug possession.
He later had the conviction expunged.

Before becoming mayor of Leavenworth, Jermaine Wilson served close to three years in prison for drug possession.

He later had the conviction expunged.

“With that, it gave me hope, and it let me know that I had a new start,” he said.

Wilson founded Unity in the Community, an organization with a mission of bringing people together.

In 2017, Wilson was elected to the Leavenworth City Commission. And on Tuesday, he was chosen to serve as the city’s mayor.

Wilson recounted his story Wednesday as Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson announced a program designed to help people expunge their criminal records. The program will take place over the next couple of months.

According to Thompson, an expungement will result in records of previous arrests or convictions being sealed. This will prevent the disclosure of information about the arrests or convictions, with some exceptions.

Thompson said expungements may make it easier for people to obtain jobs and help them to be productive citizens.

“Our goal is to never have people come back to our justice system,” he said.

Wilson said he at one point was let go from a job because of his criminal record. This occurred before his record was expunged.

Thompson said Wilson’s accomplishments since his criminal conviction have been an inspiration to the community.

“He’s been a role model to so many people,” Thompson said.

The county attorney is partnering with several area attorneys who will provide assistance to people applying for expungements.

As part of the Expungement Day program, people seeking expungements will need to complete applications by March 8.

“We’re giving people almost 60 days to get it in,” Thompson said.

People interested in participating in the program can find forms on the website for the County Attorney’s Office, www.leavenworthcountyattorney.org

More information about the program is available on the website.

The completed forms should be returned to the County Attorney’s Office.

After an initial review by the County Attorney’s Office, an applicant for expungement will be contacted by one of the attorneys who is volunteering his or her services. The attorney will be able to explain whether the applicant is eligible for an expungement and answer questions.

Thompson said homicide and sex crimes cannot be expunged. He said the law also requires some time to have passed before records of arrests or convictions can be expunged.

He said the Expungement Day program is only being offered for Leavenworth County District Court cases. The program does not apply to cases from federal or municipal courts.

Even with the volunteer help of attorneys, there still will be filing fees associated with the expungement process.

According to Thompson, fees total $195.

There is a possibility of having fees waived, but that would require the completion of an affidavit.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR