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Two Baltimore agencies did background checks on an applicant, one missed a prior federal conviction

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 12:38:44-04

BALTIMORE — A new Inspector General's report reveals an apparent lack of communication between Baltimore City agencies when vetting new hires.

The newly released report focuses on the hiring process of a Baltimore City Recreation and Parks employee.

Prior to the hire, the City's Recreation and Parks and Human Resources Departments each conducted their own applicant background check.

Human Resources found no records that were potentially disqualifying, while the check by Recreation and Parks uncovered a prior federal conviction.

When asked how they missed the prior federal conviction, Human Resources claimed their contracted background investigator would only look into federal records upon special request.

Recreation and Parks never made Human Resources aware of their findings and decided to hire the employee anyway, citing their interpretation of federal EEOC guidance.

Had Human Resources been informed, they would have held a panel meeting to review the applicant's past charges before providing a hiring recommendation to Recreation and Parks.

Regardless, city policy leaves the ultimate hiring decision to the Agency Director.

In response to the Inspector General's investigation, Human Resources says new policies and procedures have been implemented to improve communication between different agencies throughout the hiring process.

They also claim to have hired a new vendor to handle background checks, which will now include fingerprinting.