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updated: 2/16/2012 5:32 PM

Candidate's past arrest questioned

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The Daily Herald asks all candidates if they have been arrested on charges of, or convicted of, a crime. For Steven L. Hunter, the answer is "yes."

The Geneva resident, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 25th District state senate seat, has a 1999 misdemeanor conviction for reckless driving. He was initially charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, but the charge was amended. Hunter initially received a conditional discharge, but did not pay his court costs and fines and did not complete court-ordered alcohol counseling.

Hunter had left the answer-box blank on a Daily Herald questionnaire, but answered the question when a reporter asked on Tuesday.

"I was young, single and extremely foolish at the time," Hunter said.

"It was a gut check. It reminded me that every action we take affects other individuals."

His opponent, Corinne Pierog, brought up the matter during an endorsement interview Thursday afternoon, when answering a question about what makes her the better Democrat for the job. She cited "ethics" as one thing that distinguishes her from Hunter.

The point, she said, was not what Hunter was charged with, or whether he has since reformed his ways.

But not mentioning the arrest and conviction on the form was "disingenuous," Pierog said.

A person with a conviction should "admit and gain strength from it," she said.

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