Schenectady, NY boosts background checks after hiring criminals

Schenectady, NY boosts background checks after hiring criminals

Excerpted from timesunion.com, by Paul Nelson

City leaders will revisit the issue of criminal background checks and fingerprinting for potential new employees when they hold a public hearing on the issue next month.

The move is the latest wrinkle in the hiring process for a city that has seen at least two employees with criminal convictions get on the payroll. A previous bid to implement greater background checks was insufficient.

“Right now, we’ve passed legislation that wasn’t good enough for the state so we don’t have an agreement with the state for background checks,” Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico said.

The city needs to have a local law on the books, not just a resolution, in order to access the state computer system to conduct the criminal background checks, Falotico said.

In September, City Council members passed a resolution requiring mandatory criminal background checks and finger printing of all potential city employees after employees with past criminal problems were hired.

Until then, only public safety employees were subject to the additional scrutiny.

Back then, Falotico acknowledged the move was made in part because of the revelation that Kenneth Tyree, a city code enforcement officer, lied about a prior conviction on his city job application. The prior conviction came to light after Tyree was charged in connection with an apartment building fire killed four people across the street from City Hall in 2015.

Read the full article here.

 

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