Multiple convicted felons working as city of Cleveland employees
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is defending the city’s policy of hiring convicted felons.
Cleveland 19 found former employee, Lance Mason -- the man accused of murdering his estranged wife, Aisha Fraser -- isn’t the only city worker who has a criminal history.
At least seven current employees were found to have criminal convictions, some of them felony charges including drug trafficking and sex offenses.
“We hire ex felons. We have a second chance program where we look at the person, and of course, putting the person in an appropriate position," said Mayor Frank Jackson.
Here is a list of current employees with criminal backgrounds.
- 2013 arrest during a prostitution sting
- Convicted of disorderly conduct in 2016
- Current salary more than $100,000
- Hired in 1993
- Current salary close to $100,000
- 1987: Pleaded guilty to passing multiple bad checks
- Hired in 1982
- 2011: Pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy to commit bribery charges
- Hired in 1982
- Convicted sex offender
- 17 criminal cases in Cuyahoga County including trafficking drugs, rape
- Hired in 1999
- Convictions: attempted abduction, assault, sexual imposition, and aggravated robbery.
- Previously Director of Community Relations
- Pleaded guilty: aggravated robbery and having weapons under disability
Christopher Heltzel: assistant director of law.
The mayor said because the city hires convicted felons, they don’t include that question on an application.
They still do background checks and he said they don’t place convicted felons in positions where they would be working around children.
It’s unclear if any of those people, including service laborers who work in public parks, are avoiding children.
On Monday evening, the city of Cleveland sent their “Fair Hiring Policy,”which states:
I. Statement of Policy
The City of Cleveland is an equal employment opportunity employer with the goal of hiring the best qualified applicants for City employment. The City is committed to ensuring just and fair measures and practices when screening and identifying persons eligible for employment, regardless of whether they have had past convictions or arrests.
Except as otherwise required by state or federal law, the City shall not inquire about an applicant’s conviction history until a conditional offer of employment is extended. City job applications shall not contain a “box” or inquiry regarding a job applicant’s prior convictions.
The City will follow the steps identified below when conducting a criminal background check:
A. A background check will be performed only if an applicant has received a conditional offer of employment;
B. If the background check reveals a conviction, the applicant will not be automatically disqualified from employment, unless prohibited by state or federal statute; and
C. The Appointing Authority along with the Director of the Department of Human Resources will consider the relevance of the criminal investigation using the following parameters:
1. Whether the criminal conduct for which the person was convicted has a direct and/or specific negative bearing on a person’s fitness or ability to perform one or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the employment sought;
2. The nature and severity of the offense;
3. The age of the applicant at the time of the offense;
4. The date of the offense;
5. How long the person has lived while not incarcerated or under correctional supervision without having any new convictions; and
6. Any evidence demonstrating the applicant’s rehabilitation.
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