Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
The Background Investigator January 2012 edition
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

The Background Investigator January 2012 edition

1,544

Published on

Read and print .pdf version of The Background Investigator

Read and print .pdf version of The Background Investigator

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,544
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Volume 12 Number 1 January 2012 By Michael Liedtke A clerical error landed Kathleen Casey on the streets. Out of work two years, her unemploy- ment benefits exhausted, in danger of losing her apartment, Casey applied for a job in the pharmacy of a Boston drug- store. She was offered $11 an hour. All she had to do was pass a background check. It turned up a 14-count criminal in- dictment. Kathleen Casey had been charged with larceny in a scam against an elderly man and woman that in- volved forged checks and fake credit cards. There was one technicality: The com- pany that ran the background check, First Advantage, had the wrong woman. The rap sheet belonged to Kathleen A. Casey, Article continues on page 2 Skokie, Illinois USA Courthouse PRSRT STD Photograph by Steven Brownstein U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 164 MORTONGROVE, IL By Steven Brownstein CBS got it wrong. Thats after AP got it wrong. Maybe There Ought To Be A Correction. Complete List on Page 12 St. Thomas, St.Croix, St. JohnBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 1 Composite
  • 2. from peoples pasts is rate background checks. that figure has grown to When Their bought and sold as a com- "Theyre making it up as Dietrich says her firm more than 90 percent, ac- Criminal Past modity. they go along." fields about twice as many cording to the Society for complaints about inaccurate Human Resource Manage- Isnt Theirs, A system in which com- Two decades ago, if a background checks as it did ment. Continued from page 1 puters scrape the public county wanted to update five years ago. files of court systems someones criminal record, To take advantage of the around the country to re- a clerk had to put a piece of The mix-ups can start with growing number of busi- who lived in another town trieve personal data. But a paper in a file. And if you a mistake entered into the nesses willing to pay for nearby and was 18 years system in which what they wanted to read about some- logs of a law enforcement background checks, hun- younger. retrieve isnt checked for ones criminal past, you had agency or a court file. The dreds of companies have errors that would be obvi- to walk into a courthouse biggest culprits, though, are dispatched computer pro- Kathleen Ann Casey, ous to human eyes. and thumb through it. To- companies that compile grams to scour the Internet would-be pharmacy techni- day, half the courts in the databases using public in- for free court data. cian, was clean. A system that can damage United States put criminal formation. reputations and, in a time of records on their public But those data do not al- "It knocked my legs out precious few job opportuni- websites. In some instances, their ways tell the full story. from under me," she says. ties, rob honest workers of Digitization was supposed automated formulas misin- a chance at a new start. to make criminal records terpret the information pro- Gina Marie Haynes had The business of back- And a system that can leave easier to access and easier vided them. Other times, as just moved from Philadel- ground checks is booming. the Kathleen Caseys of the to update. To protect pri- Casey discovered, records phia to Texas with her boy- Employers spend at least $2 world — the innocent ones vacy, laws were passed re- wind up assigned to the friend in August 2010 and billion a year to look into — living in a car. quiring courts to redact wrong people with a com- lined up a job managing the pasts of their prospec- some information, such as mon name. apartments. A background tive employees. They want Those are the results of an birth dates and Social Secu- check found fraud charges, to make sure theyre not investigation by The Asso- rity numbers, before they Another common problem: and Haynes lost the offer. hiring a thief, or worse. ciated Press that included a put records online. But dig- When a government agency review of thousands of itization perpetuates errors. erases a criminal conviction A year earlier, she had But it is a system weak- pages of court filings and after a designated period of bought a used Saab, and the ened by the conversion to interviews with dozens of "Theres very little human good behavior, many of the day she drove it off the lot, digital files and compro- court officials, data provid- judgment," says Sharon commercial databases dont smoke started pouring from mised by the welter of pri- ers, lawyers, victims and Dietrich, an attorney with perform the updates re- the hood. The dealer vate companies that profit regulators. Community Legal Services quired to purge offenses charged $291.48 for re- by amassing public records in Philadelphia, a law firm that have been wiped out pairs. When Haynes re- and selling them to employ- "Its an entirely new fron- focused on poorer clients. from public record. fused to pay, the dealer ers. These flaws have dev- tier," says Leonard Bennett, Dietrich represents victims filed fraud charges. astating consequences. a Virginia lawyer who has of inaccurate background It hasnt helped that doz- represented hundreds of checks. "They dont seem to ens of databases are now Haynes relented and paid It is a system in which the plaintiffs alleging they have much incentive to get run by mom-and-pop busi- after six months. Anyone most sensitive information were the victims of inaccu- it right." nesses with limited re- looking at Haynes physical sources to monitor the ac- file at the courthouse in curacy of the records. Montgomery County, Pa., would have seen that the The industry of providing fraud charge had been re- background checks has moved. But it was still been growing to meet the listed in the limited infor- rising demand for the ser- mation on the courts web- vice. In the 1990s, about site. half of employers said they The website has since checked backgrounds. In been updated, but Haynes, the decade since Sept. 11, 40, has no idea Big Story continues PUBLISHER Steven Brownstein CONTRIBUTORS: Mike Sankey, Les Rosen, Dennis Brownstein, Faheem Ebrahim COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Skokie, Illinois USA Court COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Steven Brownstein PURPOSE: “Dedicated to pre-employment screenings everywhere” The Background Investigator is published by Steven Brownstein, LLC, PMB 1007, Box 10001, Saipan, MP 96950. Phone: 670-256-7000. Copyright 2011 by Steven Brownstein. Some material in this publication must not be repro- duced by any method without the written permission of the copyright holder.Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 2 Composite
  • 3. In an effort to prevent bad onds. million selling the data last criminal records in bulk. It When Their information from being year. But officials discov- has moved to a system of Criminal Past spread, some courts are try- In the digital age, some ered that some background selling records one at a ing to block the computer states have seen an oppor- check companies were re- time. By switching to a Isnt Theirs, programs that background tunity to cash in by selling fusing to fix errors pointed more methodical approach, Continued from page 2 check companies deploy to their data to companies. out by the state or to update North Carolina hopes to how many companies scrape data off court web- Arizona charges $3,000 per stale information. eliminate the sloppy re- downloaded the outdated sites. The programs not year for a bundle of discs cord-keeping practices that data. She has spent hours only can misrepresent the containing all its criminal State officials say some has emerged as more com- calling background check official court record but can files. The data includes per- companies paid $5,105 for panies have been allowed companies to see whether also hog network resources, sonal identifiers that arent the database but refused to to vacuum up massive she is in their databases. bringing websites to a halt. on the website, including pay a mandatory $370 amounts of data in a single Getting the information re- Virginia, Arizona and drivers license numbers monthly fee for daily up- sweep. moved and corrected from New Mexico have installed and partial Social Security dates to the files — or they so many different databases security software to block numbers. would pay the fee but fail Virginia ended its sub- can be a daunting mission. automated programs from to run the update. The up- scription program. To get Even if its right in one getting to their courts sites. Other states, exasperated dates provided critical full court files now, you place, it can be wrong in New Mexicos site was by mounting errors in the fixes, such as correcting have to go to the court- another database unknown once slowed so much by data, have stopped offering misspelled names or delet- house in person. You can to an individual until a pro- automated data-mining pro- wholesale subscriptions to ing expunged cases. get abstracts online, but spective employer requests grams that it took minutes their records. North Carolina, which has they lack Social Security information from it. By for anyone else to complete been among the most ag- numbers and birth dates, then, the damage is done. a basic search. Since New North Carolina, a pioneer gressive in ferreting out and are basically useless for Mexico blocked the data in marketing electronic errors in its customers a serious search. "I want my life back," miners, it now takes sec- criminal records, made $4 files, stopped selling its Haynes says. North Carolina told the AP that taxpayers have been Haynes has since found "absorbing the expense and work as a customer service ill will generated by the manager, but she says that members of the commercial is only because her latest data industry who continue employer didnt run a back- to provide bad information ground check. while falsely attributing it to our courts records." Hard data on errors in background checks are not North Carolina identified public. Most leading back- some companies misusing ground check companies the records, but other cul- contacted by the AP would prits have gone undetected not disclose how many of because the data was resold their records need to be multiple times. corrected each year. Story continues page 21 A recent class-action set- tlement with one major da- tabase company, HireRight Solutions Inc., provides a glimpse at the magnitude of the problems. The settlement, which re- ceived tentative approval from a federal judge in Vir- ginia last month, requires HireRight to pay $28.4 mil- lion to settle allegations that it didnt properly notify people about background checks and didnt properly respond to complaints about inaccurate files. After covering attorney fees of up to $9.4 million, the fund will be dispersed among nearly 700,000 people for alleged violations that oc- curred from 2004 to 2010. Individual payments will range from $15 to $20,000.Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 3 Composite
  • 4. Background Check Filipino Health Care Workers The Philippines is one of the world’s largest exporters of health workers, making this one of the country’s most important exports. Know who you are hiring before they start. Straightline Internationals local staff provides complete XR2 background searches plus ALL public records in the Philippines. POINT TO POINT SERVICE Criminal Search Ask About Our PUERTO RICO “No Delay” Philippines Service The ‘XR2’ Puerto Rico search is your Call 1-866-909-6678 insurance that you are getting the best possible Or Fax 1-866-909-6679 info@straightlineinternational.com results. Straightline International Shortest distance between you and the courts It is proven that police searches in Puerto Rico can contain more than 50% more missed hits than the XR2. The XR2 signifies a new plateau of search re- sults never before heard of. And no one else but Straightline offers the XR2. or anything similar. Shouldn’t you be offering your clients the best? Call 1-866-909-6678 Or Fax 1-866-909-6679 Alberta Nova Scotia Straightline International British Columbia Ontario Manitoba Prince Edward Islands New Brunswick Quebec New Foundland Saskatchewan Northwest Territories Yukon TerritoriesBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 4 Composite
  • 5. The Public Record Update News From Courts Hawaii Hawaii recently upgraded the electronic access to the states Circuit Court records though Hoohiki. Users of the system had been experiencing excessive waits and de- lays. The Judiciairy added additional slots which should alleviate much of the wait time. The long term plan is to replace Hoohiki with a new platform for Circuit Court information on the states Judiciary Information Management System. However, be aware there are gaps in time periods Hoohiki, depending on the Dis- trict. Also, these records are not considered "official" - there is a strong disclaimer at the site. It is advised to use caution if this site is the only source for FCRA compli- ant searches. See www.courts.state.hi.us/legal_references/records/search_court_records.html Nebraska These Small Ads The ability to electronically file probate case in any of the 93 counties has been added to the Nebraska Judicial eFiling system. This includes cases involving estates, Are Affordable guardianships, conservatorships, and trusts. Civil, criminal and juvenile case types are already part of eFiling. See www.supremecourt.ne.gov/court-information-tech/e-filing.shtml Oklahoma The Oklahoma Supreme Court has modified an earlier position and has determined that the filing of court documents should include the full date of birth and the full DOB should not be excluded from public documents. An earlier decision would have limited the disclosure of this identifier. The Judiciary is in the process of developing a single statewide court database sys- tem. Eventually the public will have access to case information from all of the 77 county courts on one platform. Currently there are two systems that together provide case information online from 76 counties. At present, records from Cimarron County are not on either system. SAIPAN –GUAM For more information on the systems visit www.oscn.net. Criminal Research Call 1-866-909-6678 Or Fax 1-866-909-6679 Wisconsin Straightline International The Wisconsin Circuit Court Access system (WCCA) is a very popular public Micronesia online access mode for case and docket information. One of the drawbacks to the system is the lack of records from Portage county. Recently the WCAA announced the addition of Portage court records dating back 25 years. However, users should be aware this case information will not show up on the WCCA for several more months. The data is being slowly added while being checked for completeness and accuracy. A statewide WI check should still include an onsite search in Portage for the next several months. WCAA is accessible at http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl. We welcome your comments and observations about The Public Record Update Please address your comments to Michael Sankey at mike@brbpublications.com Making copies of any part of the Public Record Update© for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is ob- tained from BRB Publications. Phone - 480-829-7475 Public Record Retriever Network - www.prrn.us The CRA Help Desk - www.CRAHelpDesk.com BRBs Free Public Record Resource Center - www.brbpublications.com/pubrecsites.asp Motor Vehicle Record Decoder - www.mvrdecoder.com BRBs Public Record Blog - www.publicrecordsblog.net BRBs Bookstore - www.brbpublications.com/books BRBs Public Record Blog - www.publicrecordsblog.netBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 5 Composite
  • 6. in the Kansas City Star. A the Health Care Facilities third public servant with a Les Rosen’s group of Kansas City-area The victim was killed Workplace Violence Pre- criminal history has been Corner lawyers serving as counsel when the timber company vention Act (House Bill discovered this year. for the family of the man truck drivers trailer went 1992) was recently intro- A monthly column killed in the accident ar- across the center line while duced in the Pennsylvania Just days after revealing a By Lester Rosen, gued that the timber com- taking a curve in the road- House, according to a re- man who allegedly embez- Attorney at Law pany had negligently hired way and clipped another port from HealthCa- zled $16 million from the truck driver who caused vehicle, causing the tractor nal.com. HB 1992 - a joint Queensland Health had a the accident without con- to cross the center line and effort by the Pennsylvania criminal history in New ducting a basic background strike another car head on Association of Staff Nurses Zealand, it was learnt that search that would have and veer directly into the and Allied Professionals Corrective Services has quickly revealed a history cab of the semi-truck (PASNAP) and State Rep- hired a prison guard con- of unsafe driving that in- driven by the victim, who resentative Nicholas Mi- victed of drug and weapon cluded having his license died from his injuries an cozzie (R-163) - requires offences. revoked twice. hour after the collision. The Pennsylvania hospitals and jury returned a unanimous other health care facilities The guard was handed a According to the press verdict that awarded $7 to take steps to protect job because a person ticked release, the case primarily million to the victims fam- health care workers from a wrong box during the involved the timber com- ily and found the timber suffering from workplace check process. pany truck drivers qualifi- company 75 percent liable violence that include secu- cations to drive a commer- and its driver 25 percent rity risks assessments, find- Jennifer Dann was em- cial vehicle and the timber liable. ing ways to create a safer ployed full-time by Queen- Jury Awards 7 companys failure to appro- workplace, and helping sland Corrective Services Million Dollars priately screen its drivers. "Background checks are a workplace violence victims in July and worked at the Evidence was introduced at necessary step in avoiding report incidents. Brisbane and Woodford to Family of the trial that the timber negligent hiring," says At- correctional centres. Truck Driver company truck driver never torney Les Rosen, the foun- Specifically, the Health should have been permitted der and CEO of Employ- Care Facilities Workplace Dann was sacked three Killed in Acci- to drive a tractor trailer ment Screening Resources Violence Prevention Act months later but only after dent in Negligent since he had lied on his ap- (ESR) and author of The would provide for concerns from an outsider plication and had received Safe Hiring Manual, a "violence prevention com- were raised that a woman Hiring Case two license revocations, comprehensive guide to mittees" in health care fa- with her criminal history previous infractions that the background screening. cilities, for their powers would be allowed to guard The family of a truck timber company could have "Even after the most dili- and duties, and for reme- prisoners. driver killed in a 2008 acci- easily discovered with a gent candidate selection dies. HB 1992 helps health dent in Arkansas was re- simple background search process, hiring someone care facilities develop a This follows a blunder in cently awarded $7 million that took only 15 minutes without conducting a thor- plan addressing risk factors, March when a Croatian in damages in a wrongful and cost $15. The deadly ough background check can train security personnel, man on Interpols most death lawsuit brought crash occurred only 19 days lead to major legal and fi- build staffing, and create a wanted list was discovered against a timber company after the truck driver was nancial ramifications for hospital "culture of safety." working as a state govern- and its truck driver in an negligently hired by the your company. If your new ment security guard after Arkansas Federal Court, timber company for the hire is dishonest about his The full text of Pennsyl- 18 months patrolling the according to a press release driving job. or her education, employ- vania House Bill 1992 (HB executive building and ment or criminal history, 1992) the Health Care Fa- courts. you could face the burden cilities Workplace Violence of having an unqualified Prevention Act is available The Government does not worker wasting time and at http:// undertake its own criminal resources or even having a www.legis.state.pa.us/ checks, rather it sends violent employee in your CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/ names of applicants to the office." btCheck.cfm? Queensland Police Service, txtType=PDF&sessYr=201 which runs them through 1&sessInd=0&billBody=H the national criminal data- Health Care &billTyp=B&billNbr=1992 base Crimtrac. The infor- &pn=2761. According to mation is returned to the Facilities the text, "this act shall take departments for their as- Workplace effect in 180 days." sessment. Violence Here’s Why According to court re- Prevention Act cords, Dann has a convic- Straightline tion recorded at Caboolture Introduced in Mainly Uses The Magistrates Court in 2000 Pennsylvania for possession of a danger- Courts? ous drug and weapon as Read This: well as secure storage of a To promote a "culture of weapon. safety" in health care facili- ties and help protect health Fresh concerns have care workers from incidents emerged over the State Continues on next pagr of workplace violence in Governments ability to vet the state of Pennsylvania, staff after revelations that aBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 6 Composite
  • 7. "A review of the criminal police officer and The Cou- an investigation into the Barlow are outlined in the Why history checking estab- rier-Mail revealed he was failure to detect the illegal departments annual re- lished that an administra- wanted by Croatian au- transfer of millions of dol- ports. Straightline tion officer mistakenly thorities over drug and theft lars. Mainly Uses The ticked the incorrect box on convictions from 2004. Editor’s Notes a form, she said. But the decision sparked Courts, continued from pg7 Responding to the Gov- fresh calls for Health Min- Acting Corrective Services Ms Morrison said there ernments failure to pick up ister Geoff Wilson to be The article, “Why Commissioner Marlene was no evidence of impro- on Morehu-Barlows crimi- sacked as the Opposition Straightline Uses The Morrison acknowledged the priety during Danns tenure, nal history, Police and Cor- insisted the Bligh Govern- Courts” doesn’t do justice error and said the check did but did not say if other peo- rective Services Minister ment had a long record of to explain the errors and pick up her history and her ple with criminal histories Neil Roberts this week ac- blaming only bureaucrats. omissions of local, state, job application was re- had been employed as knowledged flaws with the and federal level police re- jected. However, an admin- prison guards. system. Police have charged Bris- cords and their databases. istrative error resulted in bane socialite and Health Danns employment after In similar circumstances, The three cases raise seri- purchasing officer Joel Last year, Straightline she sought a review. the Department of Public ous questions about the Morehu-Barlow with one tested thousands of Works only became aware State Governments han- count of defrauding the de- searches with both the court Ms Morrison said Dann of the past of security guard dling of employees crimi- partment of $11 million. and police records. worked full-time at Bris- Marino Katalinic, 36, after nal checks. bane Correctional Centre he held his job for 18 An investigation last year The closet study of this and Woodfood Correctional months. The latest revelations cleared him of any wrong- nature was performed in the Centre for three months but come as three senior health doing despite a detailed late 90’s by the State of was sacked the day after He was sacked on May 31 managers were stood down complaint, while payments Florida comparing name they found out. this year after he was found on full pay by Queensland of $4 million to a trading only checks to fingerprint guilty of impersonating a Health yesterday pending entity set up by Morehu- ID checks. All of us who were around then remember the results. Our industriy’s term, ‘false positive, came as a result of that study. But what we resulted in our test result was unex- pected and stunning. Do not bank on getting as many hits or any hits at all using police databases on a name check basis. The hit ratio from the court far exceeded the one from the state police by up to 50%. The test results are avail- able for those serious about criminal records. Contact Dennis Brownstein at 1-866-909-6678Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 7 Composite
  • 8. Understanding TRC - DUI ent jurisdiction - as of Are Printers An tions that make them oper- TRD - All other traffic vio- 2000, all MCT cases are ate more like computers. Ohio’s Case lations given the designation of Open Invitation Numbering CVH. To Steal? "These devices are com- Civil Division Special news pletely open and available System CVE - Damage to person On criminal and traffic to be exploited," says Co- and/or property cases, you will notice a four Columbia University re- lumbia professor Salvatore The three letter prefix CVF - Monetary damages (4) digit suffix indicating searchers have found a new Stolfo. indicates what type of case CVG - Eviction the number of charges in class of computer security it is. Below is a listing of CVH - Replevin the case. flaws involving printers For example, the research- the case categories: CVI - Small Claims that could impact millions ers showed how a hijacked CVJ - Rent Escrow All Criminal/Traffic cases of businesses, consumers, computer could be given a Criminal/Traffic Division CVK - Drivers license ap- are given the suffix "0101" and government agencies. command to continuously peals which means "one of one". heat up the printers fuser, CRA - Felony MCT - Court transfers to The researchers say that eventually causing the pa- CRB - Misdemeanor collect judgment in a differ- When more than one certain Hewlett-Packard per to turn brown and charge is filed simultane- (HP) LaserJet printers can smoke. ously, the case numbers be remotely controlled over increase to the number of the Internet, enabling com- The researchers also counts you are cited. puter hackers to steal per- found that printers auto- sonal information, attack matically accept software The case numbers given normally secure networks, updates from unknown are then put in order of se- and cause physical damage sources, making them vul- verity. to hardware. nerable to viruses that can be remotely installed. For example, if you are HPs Keith Moore says the stopped by a police officer initial research suggests the UK’s Definition and cited for going 10 likelihood that the vulner- miles over the speed limit ability can be exploited in Of Hireability and not having a valid driv- the real world is low. Undergoing ers license, your case num- bers would be similar to the However, the Columbia Changes following: researchers claim the secu- rity vulnerability is so fun- The UK government is no valid drivers license damental that it could affect considering widening the TRD-99-12345-0102 tens of millions of printers definition of a criminal re- speeding TRD-99-12345- and other hardware that use cord when employers de- 0202 flawed firmware. cide on a persons suitabil- ity to work with children. “Me Like A Straightline Very The firmware flaw runs Good Much “ embedded systems such as In a review into criminal computer printers, which records and vetting and bar- - Chinese Proverb increasingly include func- ring procedures, the gov- ernment’s independent ad- viser on criminality infor- mation management Sunita Mason wants to widen the definition to include con- victions for non- imprisonable offences as well as cautions, repri- mands and warnings from police. Editors Note: This would not include innocent people branded as criminals :)Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 8 Composite
  • 9. Luzerne, PA while others produce coun- check signed. terfeit company checks. Countys Civil To perpetrate a concealed Court Records These instruments often check scheme, an employee appear legitimate, espe- (usually the person respon- Are Now Online. cially if a professional sible for preparing checks) check-printing company prepares a fraudulent check Luzerne Countys online prepares them. and submits it to the au- access started last month, thorized maker (usually and the prothonotarys of- The employee places the concealed in a stack of le- fice received $8 on the first company account number gitimate checks awaiting day from online purchases on the counterfeit checks so signatures), who signs it of records, Deputy Protho- that funds can be drawn without a proper review. notary Art Bobbouine said. from the employers ac- counts. In order for this to operate Searching the database is as planned, the checks are free, and the prothonotarys The employee simply puts typically delivered to the office is charging $1 for the his/her own name (or an signer during a busy time first page of a document assumed name) as the of day when he is rushed purchased and 10 cents for payee and forges the signa- and less likely to pay close each additional page in the ture of an authorized attention to them. document, Bobbouine said. signer. Buyers will also have to Often the checks are pay a $1.50 convenience The method used to obtain spread out on the signers fee to GovPay for its elec- a blank check provides the desk so that the signature tronic invoicing system, only difference between a lines are exposed but the Bobbouine said, adding that counterfeit check scheme names of the payees are fee will be charged for each and other forged maker concealed. transaction of records pur- schemes. chased. If an authorized signer is A concealed check known to be inattentive, the To access Luzerne scheme is similar to a checks are given to him. Countys civil court re- forged maker scheme ex- cords, go to http://bit.ly/ cept for the way the fraud- sPEeNe ster gets the fraudulent Check Tampering Schemes Forged Maker & Concealed Check Schemes The person who signs a check is known as the "maker" of the check. A forged maker fraud oc- curs when an employee ob- tains a blank check, makes it payable to a fraudulent entity, and forges the signa- ture of an authorized maker. To successfully commit this fraud, an employee must have access to a blank check and convincingly forge an authorized signa- ture. Many perpetrators of forged maker schemes steal legitimate company checks,Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 9 Composite
  • 10. Where Is What services. "Any business that has a are wary of them and some vides tests for individuals US base would particularly would rather leave the posi- who have been accused of Case Found In "Companies want to know be interested in these tests tion," she said. "But they something in their private Nevada? that their future employees as it happens more often in are only used to gather the life. have integrity and hon- the US. information that would esty," she said. identify that the person oth- "You might not feel any The 17 Municipal Courts "Another area that is using erwise wouldnt be entitled different when you tell a lie manage cases involving "They want to see if they the facility is pharmaceuti- to the position. but there are involuntary violations of traffic and have historically done cal companies, where indi- responses that are part of misdemeanor ordinances something wrong -- and viduals would have access "Its only relevant to that the nervous system that re- that occur within the city whether they are honest to make illegal drugs." specific company. Theyll acts in such a way," Ms De- limits of incorporated mu- about what they have done. ask the reasons for joining vine said. nicipalities. Security companies want to Individuals who are ap- the company or if it was a The 45 Justice Courts han- know that people are apply- plying for the positions that childcare position perhaps dle misdemeanor crime and ing for the jobs for the right require the lie detector test if they had viewed pornog- traffic matters, small claims reason -- in case of inside are often reluctant to take a raphy online." disputes, evictions, and information in robberies. test, Ms Devine said. "The other civil matters less than initial response is that they Lie Detector Ltd also pro- $10,000. The justices of the peace also preside over fel- ony and gross misdemeanor arraignments and conduct preliminary hearings to de- termine if sufficient evi- dence exists to hold crimi- nals for trial at District Court. The District Courts have general jurisdiction over all legal disputes. These are the courts where criminal, civil, family, and juvenile matters are generally re- solved through arbitration, mediation, and bench or jury trials. There are 17 courts in 9 districts. Irish Doing Background Checks The Old Fashioned Way Irish companies are turn- ing to pre-employment lie detector tests as corporate crime rates shoot up. Big security companies, pharmaceutical firms and multi-nationals are now asking potential employees to undergo a truth-telling test from a registered com- pany. As there are more inci- dents of corporate theft, Tiger kidnappings and ille- gal drug production, new employers want to be sure that they have the right can- didate. Sian Devine, CEO of Dublin-based Lie Detector Ltd, said that there is a growing demand for theirBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 10 Composite
  • 11. More Than One since been transferred to A joint statement from the The national database is courts may hand out a the PNC. NPIA and the Association used by all police officers lesser sentence because Million Crimes of Chief Police Officers to check a suspect or of- they are unaware of a long Not On Police However, since April last said: "Public safety is at the fender to see if they have previous history. year forces have been heart of the NPIA and the any previous convictions. Database charged £100 for every re- police services work. One HMIC source warned Surprises No One In quest to access such a file Police also use it to draw police investigating a rape Background Screening, and requests fell by half to "Police officers will make up an individuals criminal and searching for suspects Except For CRB Users around 40 requests a a professional judgement history to pass on to the may not be aware of a con- month. about when they need to Crown Prosecution Service victed rapist in the area be- A fifth of all crimes com- seek further information to inform a sentencing cause their crime was his- mitted before 1995 are not The HMIC report said po- concerning an individual. court. toric and not on the system. on the national database lice are no longer request- "This would routinely in- because police must pay ing details of early convic- clude incidents where an Prior to 1995, offences The report concluded: £100 to access each one tions because it costs too arrest or charge has been were documented on mi- "Police forces believe this from microfiche. much money. made. crofiche and contained 5.2 charge to be excessive and million records at its consequently are not re- It means suspects could Some 1.2 million records, "Where the PNC does not height, many of which have questing the details of pre- have slipped through the including murders, rapes, hold a full record of a since been transferred to 1995 convictions. net or offenders have been arson and GBH, have still known individual, it will the PNC. handed softer sentences not been entered on to the have a marker alerting po- "Since the charge was in- because the police and PNC. lice officers that informa- However, since April last troduced in April 2010 the courts were unaware of tion is held on microfiche. year forces have been number of fiche requests their full criminal past. It means police investigat- charged £100 for every re- from forces has decreased. ing an individual will not "We have no evidence quest to access such a file The inescapable conclusion The revelation has know their full past and that police forces are not and requests fell by half to is that police forces are not "profound implications" for courts may hand out a performing their public around 40 requests a updating records with public safety and puts po- lesser sentence because duty by requesting the de- month. fiche-based convictions lice operations at risk, the they are unaware of a long tails held on microfiche. because the charge is con- HM Inspectorate of Con- previous history. We would find it hard to The HMIC report said po- sidered to be excessive." stabulary warned. believe that any force lice are no longer request- One HMIC source warned would put public safety at ing details of early convic- It added: "This can only And yet employers may police investigating a rape risk for an interim charge tions because it costs too impact adversely upon op- be handed the details be- and searching for suspects of £100." much money. erational police efficiency cause bodies doing criminal may not be aware of a con- and public safety." record checks for employ- victed rapist in the area be- It means suspects could Some 1.2 million records, ees are not charged. cause their crime was his- have slipped through the including murders, rapes, Continues next page toric and not on the system. net or offenders have been arson and GBH, have still A spokesman for the Na- handed softer sentences not been entered on to the tional Police Improvement The report concluded: because the police and PNC. Is this doc Agency (NPIA), the body "Police forces believe this courts were unaware of real? which runs the microfiche charge to be excessive and their full criminal past. It means police investigat- It can’t be library, said there are now consequently are not re- ing an individual will not Memorex plans to reduce the fee by questing the details of pre- The revelation has know their full past and charging others. 1995 convictions. "profound implications" for public safety and puts po- The Police National Com- "Since the charge was in- lice operations at risk, the puter (PNC) was intro- troduced in April 2010 the HM Inspectorate of Con- duced in 1995 and has elec- number of fiche requests stabulary warned. tronically recorded all of- from forces has decreased. fences since then. The inescapable conclusion And yet employers may is that police forces are not be handed the details be- The national database is updating records with cause bodies doing criminal used by all police officers fiche-based convictions record checks for employ- to check a suspect or of- because the charge is con- ees are not charged. fender to see if they have sidered to be excessive." any previous convictions. A spokesman for the Na- It added: "This can only tional Police Improvement Police also use it to draw impact adversely upon op- Agency (NPIA), the body up an individuals criminal erational police efficiency which runs the microfiche history to pass on to the and public safety." library, said there are now Crown Prosecution Service plans to reduce the fee by to inform a sentencing It said it was a "matter is charging others. court. of concern" and that the issue "should be addressed The Police National Com- Prior to 1995, offences as a matter of course with a puter (PNC) was intro- were documented on mi- view to reducing the unre- duced in 1995 and has elec- crofiche and contained 5.2 alistic financial burden tronically recorded all of- million records at its upon forces by the NPIA". fences since then. height, many of which haveBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 11 Composite
  • 12. court. "Since the charge was in- tion is held on microfiche. from previous violations of One Million troduced in April 2010 the either Act (or of similar Records Not In Prior to 1995, offences number of fiche requests "We have no evidence laws in other states or at the were documented on mi- from forces has decreased. that police forces are not federal level), are eligible Police Database! crofiche and contained 5.2 The inescapable conclusion performing their public for 1410/710 sentences (for Continued from page 11 million records at its is that police forces are not duty by requesting the de- example, Chapter 570, Sec. height, many of which have updating records with tails held on microfiche. 410a of the Illinois Revised It means suspects could since been transferred to fiche-based convictions We would find it hard to Statutes). have slipped through the the PNC. because the charge is con- believe that any force net or offenders have been sidered to be excessive." would put public safety at In addition to having no handed softer sentences However, since April last risk for an interim charge felony prior convictions, because the police and year forces have been It added: "This can only of £100." 1410/710-eligible defen- courts were unaware of charged £100 for every re- impact adversely upon op- dants also must have plead their full criminal past. quest to access such a file erational police efficiency What Is or been found guilty. and requests fell by half to and public safety." The revelation has around 40 requests a Illinois 1410/710 The principal incentive for "profound implications" for month. It said it was a "matter is Probation? defendants to accept sen- public safety and puts po- of concern" and that the tences to 1410/710 proba- lice operations at risk, the The HMIC report said po- issue "should be addressed tion is that at the end of The Illinois Cannabis Con- HM Inspectorate of Con- lice are no longer request- as a matter of course with a five years following their trol Act and the Controlled stabulary warned. ing details of early convic- view to reducing the unre- sentencing date (a period Substances Act were en- tions because it costs too alistic financial burden that includes the successful acted in 1971. And yet employers may much money. upon forces by the NPIA". completion of their proba- be handed the details be- tion term) they can petition They specify two special cause bodies doing criminal Some 1.2 million records, A joint statement from the the court for expungement types of probation sen- record checks for employ- including murders, rapes, NPIA and the Association of their conviction. tences for offenders con- ees are not charged. arson and GBH, have still of Chief Police Officers victed of possessing either not been entered on to the said: "Public safety is at the Dont Cheat At marijuana or other con- A spokesman for the Na- PNC. heart of the NPIA and the trolled substances. School Or Else tional Police Improvement police services work. Agency (NPIA), the body It means police investigat- For those convicted of Con- which runs the microfiche ing an individual will not "Police officers will make 20 students in Long Island trolled Substances Act vio- library, said there are now know their full past and a professional judgement were arrested after being lations (e.g., possession of plans to reduce the fee by courts may hand out a about when they need to caught cheating on the less than fifteen grams of charging others. lesser sentence because seek further information SAT. cocaine, heroin or mor- they are unaware of a long concerning an individual. phine), the sentencing op- The Police National Com- previous history. "This would routinely in- Students were caught pay- tion is known as “1410 pro- puter (PNC) was intro- clude incidents where an ing others to take their ex- bation” and for those con- duced in 1995 and has elec- One HMIC source warned arrest or charge has been ams for them, according to victed of marijuana posses- tronically recorded all of- police investigating a rape made. NBC New Yorks website. sion or delivery, it is known fences since then. and searching for suspects as “710 probation.” may not be aware of a con- "Where the PNC does not Pam Gilson, a testing co- The national database is victed rapist in the area be- hold a full record of a ordinator at UW-Green Bay Only offenders with no used by all police officers cause their crime was his- known individual, it will said, "It is sad to see that prior felony convictions, to check a suspect or of- toric and not on the system. have a marker alerting po- some students will do any- probations or supervisions, fender to see if they have lice officers that informa- thing to excel in life and including those resulting any previous convictions. The report concluded: that honesty and integrity "Police forces believe this are not important values to Police also use it to draw charge to be excessive and them." up an individuals criminal consequently are not re- history to pass on to the questing the details of pre- "If a person is willing to Crown Prosecution Service 1995 convictions. be dishonest and cheat, to inform a sentencing they must suffer the conse- quences—even if it means TORONTO being arrested." COURT RECORDS We really go there Wow! Very Cool CALL 1-866-909-6678Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 12 Composite
  • 13. Knowing When • Probable cause to arrest warrantless arrest? • Previous judges inter- made more than 1,000 ar- may have existed at the pretations in similar fact rests it can relate to infor- An Arrest is time of the arrest, even if In general, probable cause situations, and mation posted on the site. Legal the police later turn out to requires more than a "mere be wrong. suspicion" that a suspect • The judges views about The page averages more committed a crime, but not police rights v. defendants than 5,000 views, and the An arrest occurs when po- Put differently, an arrest is so much information that it rights. sheriffs office uses it to lice officers take a suspect valid if it is based on prob- proves a suspect guilty be- share posts and collect tips into custody. able cause, even if the ar- yond a reasonable doubt. Judges help to define the from the public. rested person is innocent. meaning of probable cause An arrest is complete the In the abstract, a firm defi- each time they issue a war- Cuyahoga County has av- moment the suspect is no In this situation, probable nition of probable cause is rant or decide a case in eraged two arrests per day longer free to walk away cause protects the police impossible. which the issue arises. that it can link to the site. from the arresting police against a civil suit for false officer. arrest if the charges are The Fourth Amendment The sheriffs office re- later dismissed or the de- doesnt provide a definition, cently added a section on The U.S. Constitutions fendant is acquitted at trial. so its up to judges to inter- Cuyahoga missing persons and non- Fourth Amendment author- pret the meaning of prob- Sheriffs compliant sex offenders izes arrests only if the po- These principles leave able cause on a case-by- and started a Twitter feed lice have "probable cause" open the most important case basis, taking into ac- Facebook Page to believe that a crime was issue concerning probable count: Nets 1,000 committed and that the sus- cause: pect did it. • What the judge thinks Fugitives How much information do the Fourth Amendments The probable cause re- Since the launch of its police officers need to con- drafters meant by the term quirement restrains the Facebook® page in January vince a judge to issue an probable cause power of the police to de- arrest warrant or to justify a 2010, the Cuyahoga County prive people of liberty. (Ohio) Sheriffs Office has It prevents the random roundup of "undesirables" that sometimes occurs in other countries. Some principles of prob- able cause are well settled: • To establish probable cause, police officers must be able to point to objective factual circumstances that lead them to believe that a suspect committed a crime. A police officer cant es- tablish probable cause by saying something like, "I just had a hunch that the defendant was a burglar." • Judges, not police offi- cers, have the last word on whether probable cause ex- ists. A police officer may be sincere in believing that enough factual information to constitute probable cause exists. But if a judge examines that same information and disagrees, then probable cause does not exist -- or did not exist, if the question is being decided after the arrest occurred.Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 13 Composite
  • 14. Canada: Suspect actually measure impair- employee is working. testing may be justifiable in positive? ment – it only determines if extreme circumstances Your Employee drugs are present in the Pre-employment testing where there is evidence Automatically terminating Is Using Drugs body. As such, drug testing showing unique safety- the employment of an em- is more controversial. Test- Pre-employment drug and sensitive circumstances or ployee who has tested posi- Or Drinking? ing that has no demonstra- alcohol testing is generally if there is a significant risk tive for drugs or alcohol is One Opinion ble relationship to impair- considered to be discrimi- or history of employees be- an invitation for a human by George wagott and lai Kin Hum ment, job safety or per- natory and an unjustifiable ing impaired while at rights complaint. formance will be found to intrusion into the rights of work5. Many Canadian employ- be a violation of an em- employees, regardless of If an employee tests posi- ers are uncertain about the ployees rights. Perhaps just whether or not the em- Random alcohol testing, tive for either drugs or al- laws surrounding drug and as importantly, many drug ployee will occupy a on the other hand, is con- cohol, the sanction must be alcohol tests for employees. tests will be of no use in safety-sensitive position. sidered to be a minimally tailored to that employees Drug and alcohol testing is support of related efforts by This is because such tests intrusive and effective specific circumstances. a challenging issue, and the employer to discipline essentially deny employ- method of measuring im- Any proven employee de- tests can only be used in employees who fail such ment to people who are pairment6. However, ran- pendency or addiction must limited circumstances. Ap- tests. drug or alcohol dependent dom alcohol testing can be accommodated unless plied improperly, the test- and because such testing still only be used for em- the employer can demon- ing could easily lead to a As this area of law is con- does not reflect actual or ployees in safety-sensitive strate that such accommo- contravention of applicabletentious and constantly future job impairment. Pre- positions, where there is a dation will cause undue human rights laws. In this evolving, the following employment drug and alco- clear connection between hardship. Therefore, an em- principles will be applied regard, it is important that hol testing may, however, impairment and the em- ployer needs to consider all employers understand differently depending upon be justifiable in some cir- ployees performance and both the applicable human the laws surrounding drug the circumstances and, cumstances. For example, safety. rights legislation and the and alcohol testing in Can-sometimes, the province. pre-employment testing question of accommodation This bulletin focuses on ada, and create policies and may be allowed where For cause and post- without undue hardship in procedures that will with- applying these general prin- there is evidence not only incident testing order to help shield itself stand legal scrutiny. ciples to determine which showing the link between from a potential human employees can be tested impairment, job perform- "For cause" drug and alco- rights claim. Requirements for drug and when employees can be ance and safety, but also hol testing is potentially and alcohol testing policy tested. showing unique safety- permissible when there is Given the close scrutiny sensitive circumstances reasonable cause to suspect of employer drug and alco- Employers can justify the Which employees can be (e.g. an "ultra-dangerous" alcohol or drug abuse. Post- hol policies, and their con- discriminatory effect of tested? workplace) or a significant incident testing is when an troversial nature, employers testing if the drug and alco- risk or history of employees accident has occurred at are well advised to seek hol testing policy meets all Blanket drug and alcohol being impaired while at work and there is reason- legal guidance on their three of the following re- testing is regarded as dis- work3. Pre-employment able cause to suspect that creation and implementa- quirements1: criminatory since addiction drug and alcohol testing alcohol or drug abuse may tion. is considered to be a dis- may also be acceptable if have contributed to the ac- *The policy must be ability under human rights the potential employee is cident. In both of these adopted for a purpose that laws. More significantly, not refused employment cases, such testing may be Playing Doctor is rationally connected to drug testing does not reflect because of a positive test, allowed so long as it forms the performance of the job actual or future job impair- but is instead accommodat- part of a larger assessment Can Give Your (e.g. employee and public ment. Therefore, to test an ed4. of drug and alcohol use and Kid A Criminal safety); employee for drugs or alco- so long as the employer is *The policy must be hol, there needs to be: On-the-job testing able to show that there is an Record adopted in good faith, in objective basis to believe the belief that it is neces- *a rational connection be- There are three types of all of the following: A 6-year-old boy is being sary for the fulfilment of tween testing and the em- on-the-job drug and alcohol accused of first-degree sex- that legitimate work-related ployees job performance; testing to be considered: *That job performance ual assault of a child for purpose; and and would be impaired by drug playing doctor with a 5- *The policy must be rea- *risk to the safety of co- 1. random testing; or alcohol dependency. In year-old girl in Grant sonably necessary to the workers or members of the other words, that there is a County, Wis. accomplishment of that le- public created by an em- 2. "for cause" testing; and rational connection be- gitimate work-related pur- ployees alcohol or drug tween testing and job per- The boy, who is now 7 pose.2 abuse. 3. post-incident testing. formance; years old, has a develop- *That the employees be- mental disability and was Because of these require- As a result, typically only Random testing haviour or the incident is diagnosed with stress disor- ments, testing should gen- employees in "safety- related to alcoholism or ders. erally be limited to deter- sensitive" positions may be Generally, random drug drug addiction or depend- mining actual impairment tested for alcohol or drugs. testing is considered to be ency; and Because the father of the of an employees ability to an unjustifiable intrusion *That the degree, nature, 5-year-old girl is a Grant perform their essential du- When can an employee be into the rights of employ- scope and probability of County political figure, the ties. In other words, testing tested? ees, even if they occupy risk caused by alcohol or boys attorney alleges the cannot be used solely to safety-sensitive positions. drug abuse or dependency investigation of the case identify the presence of There are two times when This is because drug testing will adversely affect the was biased and authorities drugs or alcohol in the an employer may want to does not reflect actual or safety of co-workers or were not reasonable when body. Unlike alcohol test- test an employee for drugs future job impairment. As members of the public. charging a child with first- ing, drug testing does not or alcohol: before hiring the with pre-employment test- degree sexual assault. employee and while the ing, however, random drug What if an employee testsBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 14 Composite
  • 15. Jennifer Lopezs Boyfriend Flaunts The Law By Gossip Cop.com While Jennifer Lopez was busy putting out records, her new guy, Casper Smart, was racking up police re- cords. It wasas learned that Smart, whose real name is Beau Paul Smart, has been picked up by the cops on many occasions for speed- ing and other traffic charges, such as driving without a valid license. Lopez’s back-up dancer is set to appear in court on January 5, 2012, stemming from an April 2010 arrest for illegal drag racing. This past March, Smart pled no contest. But before his January court date, as part of his deal, Smart has to complete 10 days of community ser- vice. The maximum Smart faces is 90 days behind bars and a $500 fine.Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 15 Composite
  • 16. Kiosks In Russia courts to test and refine well as the public. Maine driver history re- court administration and Software for the kiosks, cords, and the Maine sex Speed Access case-management practices, developed by the Voskhod According to Ludmila Be- offender registry. To Legal especially by using infor- Research Institute, is inte- liakova, head of the Priok- mation technology in inno- grated with the courts’ IT ski District Court’s Case Instead of conducting in- Information vative ways. systems, which gives the Management Department, dividual checks through public direct access to ac- the kiosks are making the multiple services, busi- Russian citizens are used One initiative involved the curate and up-to-date court courts much more efficient. nesses now can conduct a to waiting in long lines to installation of easy-to-use information while protect- “The kiosks save us a lot of complete search in one sim- ask judicial assistants ques- kiosks that allow citizens to ing anonymity and privi- time that we used to have to ple transaction and obtain a tions about their court cases quickly access the informa- leged data. spend answering general consolidated report on an or to file legal documents. tion they need themselves. questions on court opera- individual. Those who cannot afford Users at the pilot courts tion that we can now spend lawyers spend even more Located at the entrances praised the new kiosks. “It giving people advice on "Consolidating the ser- time navigating the legal of court buildings, these is easy and convenient to more complicated, specific vices into one search and system. The lack of readily kiosks provide a range of use an information kiosk,” questions,” she said. report makes the back- available information about legal information, including said Valentina Demina, a ground check process more court operations and incon- an explanation of court schoolteacher who used the The five pilot courts are convenient for businesses, sistent customer service are structure and operating pro- kiosk at a court in Nizhny among the first in Russia to especially employers," two reasons why many cedures; office hours of Novgorod. “Within sec- have such kiosks, and their noted Matt Ruel, Director Russians have lost confi- judges and court employ- onds, you have the infor- success is catching on. The of the State Bureau of Iden- dence in their legal institu- ees; samples of documents, mation you need!” Russian Judicial Depart- tification. tions. such as applications, ment has committed to fi- claims, and other forms; Because they enable citi- nancing the installation of Background check results To help Russian courts detailed information about zens to quickly access legal information kiosks in all ordered through the online improve the services that laws in the Russian Federa- information and free clerks Russian courts thuss service are typically deliv- they offer citizens, tion; information about jus- from having to answer rou- spreading the benefits of ered to the customer via Chemonics’ Judicial Re- tices of the peace; and in- tine questions, the new ki- this technology across the email in a consolidated form and Partnership pro- formation about court hear- osks are making things eas- country. electronic report. gram worked with five pilot ings and decisions. ier for court workers as The service is useful to Maines One employers, investigators, day care providers and a Stop Background variety of other businesses Check that routinely need to per- form background checks. The Center for Digital "Not only does this ser- Government recently rec- vice provide convenience, ognized the State of Maine but users can be confident with a Digital Government in the accuracy and timeli- Achievement Award in the ness of the data they re- government-to-business ceive, as it comes straight category for the One Stop from the official databases Online Background Check of the Department of Public Service. Safety and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles," stated The online service, spon- Clarissa Hurley, Online sored by the Department of Services Branch Manager Public Safety and the Bu- for the Bureau of Motor reau of Motor Vehicles, Vehicles. was created to provide a convenient, up-to-date, and InforME developed this official source for Maine online service at the request online background checks. of Maine businesses that were surveyed in an exten- The national award pro- sive user needs analysis gram highlights exceptional conducted in 2009. state government websites and online services and is The service was devel- highly competitive. Maines oped at no cost to Maine One Stop Background taxpayers, and enhances the Check ( http:// popular suite of online www.maine.gov/online/ business services available dps/background_check ) through Maine.gov ( http:// provides a combined search www.maine.gov ). of multiple official state databases including Maine crash reports, Maine public criminal history records,Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 16 Composite
  • 17. Wrangling The should have a code of pro- complying with the code, tigate their claims. tion. fessional conduct in place Neuman said. Workplace Bully that lets employees know If an employee is found to We background U.S. what kind of behavior is Experts also say that man- have been bullying a col- Servicemen who were Experts say that work- expected of them, as well agers should talk with the league, the bully should be stationed in Germany place bullying is a wide- the disciplinary measures employees who they think given a written warning or Straightline International spread problem. that they could face for not are being bullied and inves- face suspension or termina- According to a survey conducted last year by Zogby International, 35 percent of U.S. workers--or an estimated 54 million people--have been victims of workplace bullying at some point in their profes- sional lives. Joel Neuman, a professor of management and organ- izational behavior at the State University of New York at New Paltz, noted that workplace bullying can take many forms, though it is generally defined as be- ing a persistent form of ag- gression that aims to hu- miliate, undermine, or os- tracize another employee. The targets of workplace bullying are often the most senior and competent per- son on the team, since they are viewed by the bully as being a threat, the Work- place Bullying Institute says. Although a dozen states have enacted legislation over the last several years to address the problem of workplace bullying, there are also steps that employ- ers can take to deal with the issue before it arises. For instance, employersBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 17 Composite
  • 18. NJ Government a child and sexual assault – cannot be removed from a Might Ease convicts record. Expungment Gusciora said petitioning to get one’s record to be Offenders would have an expunged is complicated easier time getting their re- and usually requires hiring cords expunged under a bill a lawyer, which is expen- discussed in the Nj Assem- sive. bly Judiciary Committee. Gusciora also noted that The committee mulled the most petitions for expunge- bill, which was first intro- ment are granted. duced in 2005, but did not hold a vote on it in part be- “I don’t understand why cause the state’s outdated there needs to be an ex- court computer system pungement process and would make it virtually im- why, in this computer age, possible to implement. it can’t be done automati- cally,” he said. The measure (A1060) would automatically ex- But Dan Phillips, legisla- punge records for those tive liaison for the Admin- convicted of disorderly per- istrative Office of the sons offenses after three Courts, said the court sys- years. tem’s antiquated computer system could not handle the Currently, those convicted paperwork. of disorderly conduct have to petition for expungement “We are not in the com- after five years. puter age in the courts or criminal justice system,” he For more serious indict- said. “We are a paper-based able offenses, ex-convicts system, and we’re drown- would have their record ing in a paper-based sys- expunged automatically tem.” after seven years. Phillips said there is Right now, they can peti- “value to this bill” in help- tion for expungement after ing first-time offenders put 10 years. their pasts behind them. But, he added, “for the “Expungement processes courts to even attempt to are generally a way for implement this would be a many small offenders to get a fresh start,” said Assem- nightmare.” Past Editions blyman Reed Gusciora (D- Mercer), the bill’s sponsor. of The bill would also elimi- nate a required $30 fee. Hey You! The Under current law, those Who, me? BackGround convicted of minor offenses can get their records ex- punged if they do not com- Yes, you. Investigator mittee any other crimes. You’re reading this, are available FREE If an expungement is right? granted, the crime is “considered not to have oc- Yes. curred,” according to the New Jersey Judiciary’s at See — either small website. ads work or I like www. thebackgroundinvestigator.com Some serous offenses -- talking to myself. including criminal homi- cide, kidnapping, luring, To be continued... endangering the welfare ofBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 18 Composite
  • 19. After Years Of greater access by the public Saratoga Springs, New with LexisNexis®, Kid- to our court information,” The Wisconsin article is a York, is helping to address SafePlus offers youth Selling Patricia Cal Baker said. great example of how a this need with a proprietary sports leagues access to ac- Wisconsin government official can service known as KidSafe- curate, affordable, private But dont rush online to argue for hours about how Plus®, a comprehensive background screenings of Searches? look up your Stevens Point they get criminal records criminal background check coaches, volunteers and Youre Finally friends and relatives quite online and then an article management system that is officials who supervise or yet. The case information pops up like the one above. designed specifically for otherwise have regular con- There (almost) wont show up for a few youth sports organizations. tact with young athletes. months, according to the Bet advice; Do what you For years, Portage County state courts system, "after know to be the best. Developed in partnership has been Wisconsins black court staff works to ensure hole of online court re- the data converted from the Penn State cords, the only of the states local Portage county sys- 72 counties not to partici- tem is accurate and com- Scandal Picks Up pate in the wildly popular plete." Business CCAP system. As the court system likes Recent scandals involving The state court system has to explain, CCAP actually high-profile coaches are a announced Portage had fi- is the Consolidated Court sobering reminder of the nally joined the clan, after Automation Programs that need for vigilance in safe- the new Clerk of Circuit offers lots more than case guarding children with one Court had her staff work lookup to judges, clerks company reported a 180% "tirelessly" with state court and lawyers within the sys- increase in coach online system staff to convert tem. The online public ac- background checks vs. the 180,000 files dating back cess component is properly same period last year, due 25 years. known as WCCA -- Wis- to increase in awareness consin Circuit Court Ac- and diligence by youth "We will now be able to cess. But it will always be sports organizations. provide greater security in a CCAP to us. variety of ways for court SportsSignup, based in files, as well as allow Editor’s Note:Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 19 Composite
  • 20. Hull, England Nashville, TN Ottawa, Canada January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 Borneo, Malaysia Hangzhou, China Long Island, NY April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 Sorrento, Italy Amsterdam, Netherlands Buffalo, NY July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands Baltimore, MD Cheyenne, WY October 2011 November 2011 December 2011Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 20 Composite
  • 21. and took them out of sync regularly buy information in bold letters: "Convicted 11. When Their with court computers. from state and county gov- Felon." Criminal Past ernment agencies. The number of people While computers are off- Teague sued Wisconsins pulling physical court files Isnt Theirs, line, critical updates to files Data providers are regu- Department of Justice, for background checks is Continued from page 3 can be missed. That can lated by the Federal Trade which furnished the data shrinking as more courts cause one persons records Commission and required and prepared the report. He put information online. Some of the biggest data to fall into another persons by federal law to have blamed a faulty algorithm With fewer people to con- providers were accused of file, Lane says. She says "reasonable procedures" to that the state uses to match trol quality, accuracy suf- perpetuating errors. glitches show up in her da- keep accurate records. Few people to crimes in its elec- fers. tabase at least once a year. cases are filed against tronic database of criminal North Carolina revoked them, though, mostly be- records. The state says it Some states are pushing the licenses of CoreLogic Lane says she double- cause building a case is dif- was appropriate to include ahead with electronic re- SafeRent Thomson West, checks the physical court ficult. the cousins record, because cords programs anyway. CourtTrax and five others filings, a step she says that kind of information is Arizona says it hasnt had for repeatedly disseminat- many other companies do A series of breaches in the useful to employers the problems with companies ing bad information or fail- not take. She calls her com- mid-2000s put the spotlight same way it is useful to law failing to implement up- ing to download updates. petitors actions short- on data providers accuracy enforcement. dates. sighted. and security. The fallout Thomson West says it was was supposed to put the Teague argued that the Others are more cautious. punished for two instances "A lot of these database industry on a path to re- computers should have New Mexico had consid- of failing to delete outdated companies think its ka- form, and many companies been programmed to keep ered selling its data in bulk criminal records in a timely ching ka-ching ka-ching," tightened security. But the the records separate. but decided against it be- manner. Such instances are she says. latest problems show that cause officials felt they did- "extremely rare" and led to some accuracy practices are "I feel powerless," he nt have an effective way to improvements in Thomson Data providers defend broken. says. "I feel like I have the enforce updates. Wests computer systems, their accuracy. LexisNexis worst luck ever. Its basi- the company said. does more than 12 million The industry says it po- cally like Im being pun- Meanwhile, the victims of background checks a year. lices itself and believes the ished for living right." data inaccuracies try to CoreLogic says its accu- It is one of the worlds big- approach is working. Mike build careers with flawed racy standards meet the gest data providers, with Cool, a vice president with One of Teagues lawyers, reputations. law, and it seemed to blame more than 22 billion public Acxiom Corp., a data Jeff Myer of Legal Action North Carolina, saying that records on its own com- wholesaler, praised an ac- of Wisconsin, an advocacy Kathleen Casey scraped the states actions "directly puters. creditation system devel- law firm for poorer clients, by on temporary work until contributed to the condi- oped by an industry group, says the state is protecting she settled her lawsuit tions which resulted in the It says fewer than 1 per- the National Association of the sale of its lucrative da- against First Advantage, the alleged contract violations," cent of its background Professional Background tabases. background check com- but it would not elaborate. checks are disputed. That Screeners. Fear of litigation pany. It corrected her re- CourtTrax did not respond still amounts to 120,000 keeps the number of errors "Its a big moneymaker, cord. But the bad data has to requests for comment. people — more than the in check, he says. and thats what its all come up in background population of Topeka, Kan. about," Myer says. "The checks conducted by other Other background check "The system works well if convenience of online in- companies. companies say the errors But there are problems everyone stays compliant," formation is so seductive arent always their fault. with those assertions. Peo- Cool says. that the record-keepers She has found work, but ple rarely know when they have stopped thinking she says the experience has LexisNexis, a major pro- are victims of data errors. But when the system about its inaccuracy. As left her scarred. vider of background checks Employers are required by breaks down, it does so valuable as I find public and criminal data, said in a law to tell job applicants spectacularly. information thats available "Its like Jurassic Park. statement that any errors in when theyve been rejected over the Internet, I dont They come at you from all its records "stem from inac- because of negative infor- Dennis Teague was disap- think people have a full ap- angles, and God knows curacies in original source mation in a background pointed when he was re- preciation of the dark side." whats going to jump out of material — typically public check. But many do not. jected for a job at the Wis- a tree at you or attack you records such as courthouse consin state fair. He was In court papers, Wisconsin from the front or from the documents." Even the vaunted FBI horrified to learn why: A defended its inclusion of side," she says. "This could criminal records database background check showed Teagues name in its data- rear its ugly head again — But other problems have has problems. The FBI da- a 13-page rap sheet loaded base because his cousin has and what am I going to do arisen with the shift to digi- tabase has information on with gun and drug crimes used it as an alias. then?" tal criminal records. Even sentencings and other case and lengthy prison lockups. technical glitches can cause results for only half its ar- But it wasnt his record. A "Weve already refuted mistakes. rest records. Many people cousin had apparently Mr. Teagues claims in our in the database have been given Teagues name as his court documents," said Companies that run back- cleared of charges. The Jus- own during an arrest. Dana Brueck, a spokes- ground checks sometimes tice Department says the woman for Wisconsins De- blame weather. Ann Lane records are incomplete be- What galled Teague was partment of Justice. "Were says her investigations cause states are inconsistent that the police knew the not going to quibble with Got $59 ? firm, Carolina Investigative in reporting the conclusions cousins true identity. It was him in the press." Get an ad. Research, in North Caro- of their cases. The FBI re- even written on the back- Give me a call. lina, has endured hurricanes stricts access to its records, ground check. Yet below A Wisconsin state judge and ice storms that knocked locking out the commercial Teagues name, there was plans to issue his decision 1-670-256-7000 out power to her computers database providers that an unmistakable message, in Teagues case by MarchBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 21 Composite
  • 22. Background condition of employment fire nationally, and some fore may be discriminatory ers from requiring appli- have become increasingly states have even passed leg- under civil rights law. Em- cants to disclose or reveal Checks: How popular in Delaware and islation to limit or ban cer- ployers need to show that criminal convictions until Much Digging Is across the nation. In some tain background checks in the use of credit records is after the application proc- cases, employers are re- employment. job-related and consistent ess and initial interview are Too Much? quired to do such reviews, with business necessity.” completed. Employers re- by Eve Tahmincioglu especially for those job “It can lead to discrimina- quired by law to conduct seekers who work with tion,” said Kathleen Mac- The ACLU’s MacRae be- background checks are ex- Background checks for children, patients, or di- Rae, executive director of lieves the use of such re- empt. job applicants have increas- rectly with money, such as ACLU Delaware, about views is on the rise because ingly been the subject of many banking jobs. But indiscriminate background technology has made it so Many cities and towns, debate and discussion in more and more, organiza- checks, which can ad- easy and so cheap to dig up and several states have en- Delaware and elsewhere. tions are using such re- versely impact minority such information on appli- acted similar laws limiting The use of such pre- views even when a person’s because of higher incar- cants. background checks for gov- employment screenings is criminal or credit history ceration rates and higher ernment employees, but far from clear-cut, and has little or no bearing on rates of credit issues. “It And Margaret M. DiBi- only Massachusetts and some argue the checks may the position sought. creates a whole pool of anca, an attorney who Hawaii have passed laws even discriminate against people that become unem- represents employers for like the one in Philadelphia certain applicants. This year the number of ployable.” Young Conaway Stargatt & extending those limitations criminal background Taylor in Wilmington, to private employers, ac- The issue was raised re- checks by employers in Indeed, on a national level added that with so many cording to the Society for cently in Delaware regard- Delaware is expected to the Equal Employment Op- job applicants today be- Human Resource Manage- ing a group of employees at rise by 12 percent, accord- portunity Commission has cause of the tough job mar- ment. the state’s Division of Sub- ing to Sergeant Paul G. made curbing such employ- ket, employers are using stance Abuse and Mental Shavack, a spokesman for ment reviews a top priority. these background checks in As for credit background Health who were not the Delaware State Police. order to easily weed out checks, under the Fair screened when hired. That The DSP through its Bu- “As a general matter, the some candidates. Credit Reporting Act, em- caused a problem last reau of Identification com- use of arrest and conviction ployers have to ask permis- month when the state was pletes about 46,000 crimi- records to deny employ- However, she noted, that sion of job seekers before about to open a mobile cri- nal background checks an- ment can be illegal under approach could backfire. they can run such reports; sis unit with Beebe Medical nually. Title VII of the Civil Rights Since there are so many and some states have actu- Center in Lewes because Act of 1964 (which prohib- people out of work and as a ally moved to ban these that hospital requires such Delaware employers of all its discrimination on the result many have less than reviews. screenings of its employ- types perform such re- basis of race, color, na- perfect credit histories, po- ees. views, not just government tional origin, religion and tentially good candidates To date, four states, Ha- agencies. And many em- sex) because it can have a could be overlooked. “It’s a waii, Illinois, Oregon and In total there are about ployers make it clear in job disparate impact on certain double-edged sword,” she Washington, have passed 100 employees at the divi- postings that they’re going racial and ethnic minorities added. laws restricting such re- sion who have not gone to dig into an applicant’s whose arrest and conviction views and 18 others, in- through such employment background. rates are greater than other MacRae and DiBianca cluding the District of Co- checks but not all of them groups,” said Christine said there were unaware of lumbia, have introduced work directly with patients. For example, Southern Nazer, a spokeswoman for any movements in Dela- legislation to do so, accord- States Cooperative in Sea- the EEOC. “Having shown ware to pass legislation that ing to the National Confer- “We are reviewing the ford and 84 Lumber in a disparate impact, an em- would limit the use of such ence of State Legislatures. hiring requirements for Claymont both had job ployer can justify its policy reviews. community-based state em- openings posted on Mon- by showing that it was job- “It’s a byproduct of the ployees in the Division of ster.com recently, and both related and required by “Under current state laws digital age,” said the Substance Abuse and Men- included a requirement for business necessity, and that it perfectly legal,” said ACLU’s MacRae about the tal Health,” said Rita Land- background checks as a no other less-discriminatory Robert Strong, Deputy growing use of such re- graf, Secretary of the Dela- condition of employment. alternatives existed.” Principal Assistant at the views. “Our laws and our ware Department of Health Delaware Department of culture have not been able and Social Services. “At Dave Haley, manager of She said there are three Labor, about credit and to keep up with the my direction, the Division the 84 Lumber store, said factors employers must criminal background changes.” of Management Services is the company as been doing consider: checks. conducting a review of ex- such checks for five years isting employees, their and that all employees no 1.the nature and gravity of But for last four or five roles and involvement with matter what the job have to the offense; years, there’s been signifi- clients, existing hiring re- have it done. And Southern 2.the time passed since the cant push back in other quirements and governing States, which employees conviction or completion of states and municipalities, policy and law.” about 100 people in Dela- the sentence; including neighboring ones. ware, also performs crimi- 3.the nature of the job in Indeed, there are a number nal background reviews on question. Earlier this year, Philadel- of factors to consider when all employees once an offer phia passed an ordinance such employment screen- is made, said Turner As for credit history re- precluding city agencies ings are conducted, say em- Gravitt, a spokesman for views, she continued, “the and private employers with Straightline International ployment experts. the company. “It’s our pol- EEOC is concerned that more than 10 employees Saipan Guam icy,” he noted. excluding people with poor from conducting criminal No one better Criminal, and other re- credit may exclude quali- background checks before 1-866-909-6678 views including credit Some blanket policies, fied job seekers and some an initial interview. That background checks, as a however, have come under minority groups, and there- law also prohibits employ-Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 22 Composite
  • 23. Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 23 Composite
  • 24. Backgrounds Of were “much less positive”. someone else. usually a test of an appli- cases ( complaints charging cant’s integrity. Other damages ) of which the ma- Foreign She said the problem of It also recommended that types of civil cases re- jority were auto torts Criminals Never obtaining overseas convic- potential employers should quested are usually for di- ( charging damage caused tions was “an ever-growing be allowed to request a for- vorce, paternity or medical by a motor vehicle ). Checked, In U.S., gulf of public protection”. eign background check if malpractice. Either the applicant agreed. Most cases ( about 75% ) Doesnt Surprise Straightline She added: “In a world The most common barrier were disposed through an with far more global travel, In January it emerged that to this type of search is the agreed settlement or volun- Tens of thousands of for- both for work and pleasure, more than one million lack of identifiers found. tary dismissal. Only 3% eign criminals could be and with the less scrupu- crimes, including murders Many suits are filed by were disposed by trial ver- slipping through the net lous taking advantage of and rapes, are not on the name only and upon in- dict. because police only check these new opportunities to Police National Computer spection of most files one the backgrounds of one in continue their offending because forces are refusing usually finds just an ad- Cleaning Toilet seven, an official review behaviour across borders, it to pay a fee to obtain the dress of the defendant. revealed. is clearly important that an criminal history of offend- Now A Crime individual’s criminal record ers. Other documents that Of the tens of thousands should include court con- might help identify the de- The federal criminal code of EU suspects arrested in victions from other juris- A fifth of all crimes com- fendant would be copies of has grown so large it en- the UK, officers only ask dictions were possible.” mitted before 1995 are not the installment agreement snares everyday citizens their home nation for a on the national database ( some require social secu- who have no idea they are criminal record check in 15 Difficulty in obtaining because police must pay rity numbers ) and there violating the law. per cent of cases, it such records means public £100 to access each one usually is a signature of the emerged in a Home Office protection agencies may from microfiche. defendant on that agree- Lawrence Lewis ended up report. not know the dangers posed ment. with a federal criminal re- by those they come in to A Home Office spokes- cord while trying to deal In the courts last year contact with, she said. woman said: “It is an op- Another barrier is where with clogged toilets at a alone, some 35,000 EU citi- erational matter for police the summons is served to military retirement home in zens were convicted but The report also revealed to decide when to request their attorney of record. Washington, D.C. previous foreign offences that hundreds of previously information on foreign na- There would be no address. were only sought from the unknown serious violent tionals. Pray for a signature. "He was subject to the Central Authority for the and sex offences committed same law that [would apply Exchange of Criminal Re- by Britons while abroad "The UK worked hard to Be grateful if the jurisdic- to] somebody who know- cords (UKCA) in 5,500 have been unearthed. implement an EU-wide tion you are researching ingly, willingly dumped cases. agreement to share this in- requires a social security toxic materials into a navi- The UK set up the UKCA formation - but we know all number for recordkeeping; gable water," according to It means in the majority of in 2006 to improve the ob- countries do not currently they are far and few be- Rep. F. James Sensenbren- cases judges do not know taining of criminal records comply fully. tween. ner (R., Wis.), chairman of the full offending history of from around the EU. the House Judiciary Com- tens of thousands of crimi- “That is why it is impor- In 1992 the Nation’s larg- mittees panel on crime, nals when passing sentence. Since then, the agency has tant that the new European est 75 counties disposed an terrorism and homeland received 20,000 notifica- legislation implemented estimated 378,000 tort security. Thousands more could tions of which 450 involved next Spring will require have slipped under the ra- serious sex or violent of- member-states to share dar if they were only ar- fences committed by Brit- this information.” rested for a minor offence ons overseas. or not charged. Only 37 of them were pre- Closing Sales The report, for the Home viously known while 276 Office, raised the prospect involved offences against On Civil that foreign criminals could children. Searches be working in sensitive po- by Steven Brownstein sitions or with children However, Mrs Mason said without their employers funding for the agency over Civil Record Searching knowing their true past. the next three years was can bring in $$$ if you unclear. can obtain the results that And Sunita Mason, who your client requested. carried out the review of She warned: “Not to ad- The most common type criminal record checks, dress this issue is a poten- of information needed by warned that funding cuts to tially huge public protec- Pre-Employment Screen- the UKCA could make the tion risk.” ers are civil lawsuits problem worse and pose a where the subject has ap- “potentially huge” risk to The report also said more peared as a defendant. the public. work should be done to in- The idea would be to find crease the number of occa- out if the applicant de- Mrs Mason said checks on sions when fingerprints are faults on his word ( con- EU citizens were “patchy” also sent along with previ- tract ) or in the case of a at best while those on peo- ous convictions to stop of- driver ( motor vehicle ple from outside Europe fenders turning up in the personal injury )This is UK and claiming to beBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 24 Composite
  • 25. Placer / Lake County Furlough Days by Baxter Research Lake and Placer County courts will be imposing fur- lough days for the first half of 2012. This is due to recent budget cuts. During the following dates, the courts will be closed and the public in- dexes inaccessible. No files, case data or dockets will be available. Beginning in January, Lake courts will be closed the first Friday of every month until June 2012. The dates of those particu- lar Fridays are 1/6, 2/3, 3/2, 4/6, 5/4 and 6/1. Placer courts will be closed the fourth Friday of every month until June 2012. The dates of those particu- lar Fridays are Jan 27th, March 23rd, April 27, May 25th and and June15. Chicago Suburbs Decriminalize nalization would prevent duct." of Skokie recently decrimi- ers, and the city of Chicago young people from being nalized possession of less is currently considering a Marijuana burdened with a criminal Alderman Peter than 10 grams for teenag- decriminalization move. record and would free up Braithwaite cited a higher Even as Chicago ponders police and prosecutorial rate of marijuana arrests whether to decriminalize resources in the revenue- among black youths in the pot possession, one of its strapped town. city in explaining his sup- suburbs has gone ahead and port for decriminalization. done it. The city of Evans- "There is a high amount of "Im definitely very con- ton passed its 2012 budget, paperwork and time that is cerned about the number of complete with an ordinance spent going to court," Al- black teens who end up in that decriminalizes the pos- derwoman Melissa Wynne the criminal justice system session of less than 10 told the Daily Northwest- and how that affects their grams of marijuana. ern. "Its not just the arrest, futures and abilities to get but then the processing and jobs later in life," he said. People caught with fewer follow-through that takes a than 10 grams would be lot of time." Marijuana law reform is ticketed and fined, but definitely in the air in the would face no jail time and "A one-time violation by Chicago area. The Cook no criminal record. Up until someone with that level of County Board of Commis- now, they would have been possession could be a teen- sioners okayed decriminali- charged with a misde- ager or someone in col- zation in unincorporated meanor and faced up to six lege," said Alderman Don- areas of the county in 2009 months in jail. ald Wilson. "I wouldnt and then expanded that re- want to see people suffer mit to include all jurisdic- City council members and the long-term consequences tions in the county that Evanston Mayor Elizabeth of something that might dont have their own police Tisdahl said that decrimi- just be short-term miscon- forces. The suburban cityBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 25 Composite
  • 26. Police Records, The Administrator was OMG! I must have been This government official scratching his head. Rule #2. Be prepared to doing background checks (actually a nice person) Court Records, hear so much bull that an too long. really did believe that she Jail Records, Dumb me, I asked why. open door to slip out of could check online to get never looked so good. Never mind all the studies the records they need to do Conviction The Administrator was showing lack of records, a background check. Records, reviewing a resume for a Another thing you do arrestees slipping through , court clerks position and want to do is debate a po- etc. And thats what they do! National the applicant had attached a lice officer, detective, cop, Databases criminal record check result whatever on criminal re- But just when I think Ive Sorry to inform you that By Steven Brownstein from a national database cords. heard everything here this government official is provider. comes the U.S Govern- the head of a Districts im- But here I am, the pot ment. migration policy. Rule # 1. The power of calling the kettle black. advertising is much greater Recently, Im working on Worse, they might use this than the truth. The other day I found an immigration case. No information against you or (rather, put) myself in the matter, thats not impotant. a friend someday. Not one jurisdiction this position of listening to a national database provided long winded argument that Whats important is that Really, though, I have results from (can we call this cop knew how to check we think a little knowledge been proved wrong many them results?) contained an police databases here and makes us experts. times. Just a week ago I was sit- ounce of information from there; that the state system ting in a large courts ad- where the applicant had was great, that they check Talk about arrogance! But, I listen and ministration office. been, ever was, never will everything, get everything. (maybe mine?) (hopefully) learn. be; like give me a break. That is Rule #3. Keep an open mind. (probably Keep Your Mouth Shut should follow!) The hardest thing I find to do is change. After many years of re- petitive work, it all be- comes so routine. But, someone someday will spring something new on me. Always happens. Cant wait. Call me an eternal opti- mist. Happy New Year.Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 26 Composite
  • 27. few (if any) runner/ National Association of their own online searches checks and didnt properly CBS Posts AP researchers. They were all Professional Background instead of paying the few respond to complaints Report That well known. They were Screeners (NAPBS) was dollars per search that was about inaccurate files. used by almost everyone. formed. http:// the going rate at the time. Gets It Wrong www.napbs.com/ HIRERIGHT is by no About The background check Then came scraping. This means a SMALL MOM companies regularly check The NAPBS gives MOM is not a new technology. AND POP company. Ex- Background (audit) the researchers. and POPs the opportunity Research would show that cept maybe by comparing Checks, They audit their work by to share and get informa- the U.S. Court records them to Microsoft or Wal- Continued from front page sending work to them tion from the same sources (PACER) have been Mart. By Steven Brownstein (knowing what the criminal (including the FCRA) as scraped for more than a case record should be - the BIG GUYS. And there decade by many compa- I have to consider then as Regarding an artcle enti- unless it has been ex- are plenty of MOM and nies. The use of scraping as false the assessment that tled, "AP IMPACT: When punged) and comparing it POP enterprises that are a competitive edge by the the problem discussed in your criminal past isnt to their known results. PAID members of the BIG COMPANIES anxious the article is databases run yours" NAPBS. to please their customers by MOM and POPS. http:// And if a discrepancy is with faster service has www.cbsnews.com/8301- found in a subjects record, As a sidebar, if it werent made this product what it is I take offense at knocking 501366_162-57344346/ap- for background checking to this day, researchers are today. Smaller MOM and the MOM and POPS of this impact-when-your- asked to do further investi-companies, the issues of POPs buy their scraping country. criminal-past-isnt-yours/ gation and find perhaps court clerical erors and from the BIG GUYS. gather additional identify- identity theft might never I read the article as a Im not sure who the ing information. have come up. Go back Scraping actually utilizes correction of error prob- source was, but the com- more to the late 90s and the live data provided by lem and not a scraping or ment, "It hasnt helped that But background check the identity theft issue the source ( in most cases, database issue. dozens of databases are companies sending re- started in Ohio with an by a court). now run by mom-and-pop searchers KNOWN CASES identity theft, a background Senastionalizing the story businesses with limited re- of IDENTITY THEFT checking company, a Sher- The databases themselves did not help protect the in- sources to monitor the ac- cases or asking to IDEN- iffs Association, and a law- are the problem. Theres nocent person harmed by curacy of the records," TIFY EXPUNGED CASES suit. errors in most all. identity thieves or innacu- misses the point as well as that arent expunged from rate records kept at the BAD MOUTH hard work- the records and asking re- Meanwhile, the back- But its the correction of originating source. ing Americans in the back- searchers to sort that mess ground checking industry inaccurate records where ground screening industry. out? always relied on the small the lawsuits lie. The story Lets look out for the Show me the proof. MOM and POP to gather even mentions a BIG MOM and POP busi- NEVER. the criminal records they LAWSUIT: nesses. I know of one LET"S LOOK AT THE needed for their reports. LARGE pre-employment ISSUE: Given there are improper The internet changed a lot ... "(A) settlement, which screening company that USES of DATABASES, (but not all) of that with received tentative approval grew out of their garage. ALL records are kept in the Federal Government online access to court re- from a federal judge in Vir- Maybe a software com- databases. The courts have has made certain that we cords. Many small busi- ginia last month, requires pany, coffee company, and one. The police have one. know that. It created the nesses were left without HireRight to pay $28.4 mil- a newspaper or two had FCRA. business as the big guys lion to settle allegations humble beginnings, too. What background check- dropped them faster than a that it didnt properly notify ing company monitors the About a decade ago, The hot potato preferring to do people about background records of the original sources of records they ac- quire? Why should they? Cant Where ‘da trust the government to file at I keep the record straight? was gonna expunge? Fact is, when it came to criminal records from the courts, everyone, BIG GUYS, and SMALL FRIES bought from the same sources more times than you imagined. They had a runner (researcher) that searched the databases at a particular court and sent back a report to the company with a clear or found criminal (case) record. Most counties only had aBook 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 27 Composite
  • 28. Book 128a (Jan 2012) Friday, December 30, 2011 07:33page 28 Composite

×