LINCOLN, Neb. — A Florida civic leader whose criminal record was uncovered when he ran for office has received a full pardon on a charge of writing a fraudulent check, for which he served a year in prison in 1958.
The state Board of Pardons took the action Tuesday in the case of Robert L. Gipson, 67, of Port Richey, Fla., who had also served time in federal prison.
Gipson, whose real name is Gilbert Elmer Sharby, has served as president of his local Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the local Republican Executive Committee and was named Man of the Year by community members in Port Richey.
His past was disclosed last summer when he entered a race for the school board. He said the Nebraska pardon would have no legal effect on his rights to vote or run for office in Florida.
"What it means now is that, if I moved to Nebraska, I could run for governor," he said.
When asked if he regretted his former life of crime, Gipson replied: "Oh, absolutely. My life up until 1958 was stupidity, absolute stupidity."