City background check did not find applicant’s previous federal conviction


BALTIMORE — A new report from the inspector general reveals an apparent lack of communication between Baltimore city agencies when vetting new hires.

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

Prior to hiring, the city’s recreation and parks and human resources departments each conducted their own background checks on the candidate.

Human resources found no potentially disqualifying records, while recreation and parks verification revealed a previous federal conviction.

When asked how they missed the previous federal conviction, human resources said their contracted background investigator would only review federal records upon special request.

Recreation and Parks never informed human resources of their findings and decided to hire the employee anyway, citing their interpretation of the federal EEOC guidelines.

If Human Resources had been informed, they would have held a meeting of experts to review the candidate’s past duties before providing a hiring recommendation to Recreation and Parks.

Either way, city policy leaves the final hiring decision to the agency manager.

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

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


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