OK, innocent til proven guilty and Sheriff Donnelly gets the benefit of the doubt until the judge rules his petitions are valid or not. Republican Challenger Tom Lingenfelter, Doylestown historic document dealer filed a challenge to Donnelly’s Nominating Petitions. Then Lingenfelter asked for the entire court, every Bucks County Judge, to recuse themselves. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in the Doylestown Courthouse.

Lingenfelter alleges some serious stuff. He claims the sheriff cannot use his nickname, “Duke” because nicknames are prohibited unless they are derivatives like Jen for Jennifer, of Tom for Thomas. Notice that neither Jen nor Tom use quotation marks. Lingenfelter thinks that means “Duke” is not a proper nickname for the ballot.

Lingenfelter also alleges the word Duke is a title of nobility and is precluded from use on the ballot because the Constitution prohibits royal titles for government people and the Sheriff is a government official for sure.

Here’s an even bigger problem. Did the nickname mean the petition was invalid which would mean the sheriff made a false swearing? If so, and there are some pretty big if’s here, filing a false affidavit becomes the most serious part of the Lingenfelter challenge, maybe as serious as Lingenfelters idea that he cannot get justice in Bucks County.

Tuesday, 10:00 AM in Doylestown. This could be a big deal. And the public cannot be kept out. This is America. Good.