Expanding Background Checks for City Employees

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Mayor Gavin Newsom
BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is looking to expand criminal background checks for potential city employees.

The mayor’s resolution was prompted by the case of former city engineer Terry Childs, who held San Francisco’s computer system hostage for weeks in 2008.

Childs refused to allow city officials access to the city computer, and it took a jailhouse visit from Mayor Newsom to pry the passwords loose.

KCBS Barbara Taylor Reports:

It was later discovered that Childs had felony convictions in Kansas for robbery and burglary, information that was not known when he was hired because San Francisco only does California background checks.

Mayor Newsom’s spokesman Tony Winnicker said the mayor doesn’t want this to happen again.

“This legislation will give us a greater ability to weed those kind of folks out, so nobody falls through the cracks like Terry Childs,” said Winnicker.

Micki Callahan, the Director of Human Resources for San Francisco, said now, only public safety officers undergo national criminal checks.

“For your average information systems worker, we have only been doing the California convictions history,” said Callahan. “So this will allow us to go further.”

A criminal history doesn’t automatically nix an applicant, but it provides a tool to match the right applicant to the right position.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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