After the death of Sheriff Gary Painter back in May 2019, Midland County residents now have to vote for a new sheriff in the next few weeks, but one of them has had his own run-ins with the law.

According to NewsWest 9, Joe Lozano is the candidate in the running that has a criminal history looming over his candidacy.

Records indicate that Lozano has a worker's compensation fraud conviction where he was charged with forging documents when he worked for an appliance company in 2017. He plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Lozano also has a misdemeanor theft conviction of over $20 but less than $200 dating back to 1985.

Lozano was also arrested in 2004 as a part of a year long prostitution investigation by Odessa police in connection with The Healing Touch Massage Parlor where he plead guilty to the prostitution charge and was sentenced in 2005 and fined $1,000.

But that does not disqualify him from running for sheriff according to the Secretary of State and the Election Code of Texas which states a candidate must not have been convicted of a felony from which the candidate has not been pardoned or otherwise released.

Since Lozano was originally charged with a felony in the fraud case and plead guilty to a lesser charge, it was classified as a misdemeanor. The prostitution charge from 2005 was also a Class B misdemeanor.

So by the Texas Election Code, he is capable of running because the misdemeanor charges do not impact his eligibility.

Lozano is ready to put all of that in the past, "That is all behind me and I am ready to move on. I feel great," Lozano said.

Background checks on the other three candidates show no criminal charges in their histories.

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