FAIRFIELD — Solano County Sheriff-Coroner Thomas Ferrara will not have an opponent after all in the upcoming June election – probably.
More than an hour and a half after the Registrar of Voters Office closed its doors Friday, a ruling was made that potential challenger bail bondsman Joel “Thomas” Toler was not a qualified candidate.
Toler, a former police officer from several years ago, filed papers Wednesday to run against Ferrara. Since then, Toler has scrambled to provide documents to verify that he has the education and experience required by state law to run for a county sheriff position.
The law required Toler have five years of law enforcement experience, some of it within five years of the election, to be able to run.
Toler, mindful of the law, went to the police chief of Jemez Springs, N.M., in January, where he wrangled a brief stint as a police officer. Jemez Springs, population 250, is a mountain village about 50 miles north of Albuquerque.
Registrar of Voters Ira Rosenthal said Friday that his office deemed the out-of-state police work did not conform to the requirements of state law.
Toler disagrees and has talked with attorneys about the registrar’s view of the law.
Toler also tried unsuccessfully to run for Solano County sheriff in 2010, but that effort ended up in court after a lawsuit was filed challenging his claim that he had the required experience.
Ferrara is a veteran of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. He served as undersheriff and was appointed by the Board of Supervisors, effective Nov. 1, 2012, to fill the remainder of former Sheriff-Coroner Gary Stanton’s term when Stanton retired.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.