Excerpted from a Cleveland.com blog by Courtney Astolfi and Adam Ferrise
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s administration fired a recently hired manager in the Human Resources Department on Thursday after cleveland.com asked about her 2018 conviction on a charge of inducing panic.
Budish spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan confirmed the termination of Jennifer Vickers, but declined to give the reason for the termination or disclose whether the county knew of Vickers’ criminal conviction before hiring her.
Madigan reported that Vickers had been hired earlier this month as an $80,000-a-year talent acquisition and employment manager who reported to Chief Talent Officer Douglas Dykes, whose department reviews background checks for new hires.
A Google search shows a news account of Vickers’ arrest last year on charges that she falsely told Westlake police that a stranger had tried to abduct her 1-year-old son from a play area at a Crocker Park bookstore.
Court records show that Vickers, 31, was found guilty in November 2018 of a first-degree misdemeanor charge of inducing panic and was ordered to serve six months of probation, pay a $250 fine and continue to see her psychologist.
Police reports state that Vickers eventually admitted to lying about the attempted abduction of her child in an attempt to “bring awareness to people about watching their children.”
Cleveland.com has requested county records related to Vickers, including her application and resume, as well as any documents showing whether she was subjected to a background check and whether she met the minimum qualifications for the job.
The county did not immediately provide copies of the document and did not provide answers to questions which were submitted Thursday afternoon in writing.
Here are the questions cleveland.com posed to the county, which the county did not immediately respond to:
Why was Vickers terminated?
Did she pass a background check?
Was a background check done?
Did she disclose her criminal conviction?
When did she apply for the job?
Was her resume accurate? Did HR check to see if it was?
Her recent criminal conduct was easily Google-able. Did HR check this?
She would have been approving the background checks and hiring process of other county applicants, correct?
Does HR regularly hire people without background checks?
What is the county’s policy on hiring people with criminal records?