News & Resources

City may add background screenings to hiring process after employing ex-con

Oct 02, 2011 Matt Roesly

Hiring the right person to fill an open position can be one of the most important aspects to any institution. This issue becomes especially important when people are vetted for jobs in the public sector. In one recent case, the city of Rio Hondo, Texas, ended up hiring a city administrator who, as it turned out, had two arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. KGBT-TV reports that an uproar was caused when it turned out that Hipolito Cabrera had been given the position without going through a background screening. The news station reports that if city officials had simply run Cabrera's name through the Texas Department of Public Safety's criminal history system, the prior arrests would have shown up. "Once an application comes in we need to review the application," the Rio Hondo Mayor Alonzo Garza said in an interview with the news station."We need to have somebody really look at it and not take advantage because he works here and he's done that before... We have to look at the application." Other cities have been adding background screening requirements to ensure all candidates are law abiding citizens. The Morning Sun reports that all public officials in Pittsburgh must go through an online check of their personal history prior to being hired.