A hotel employee in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, has been charged with a felony for allegedly stealing money from her employer, adding to her lengthy criminal record. Twenty-four-year-old Kortney D. Lewis was charged with larceny from a building and as a fourth-time habitual offender. She was employed at the time by the Red Roof Inn as a room cleaner, and was allegedly caught stealing $220 cash from the room of her assistant manager. According to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Brett Gardner, Lewis’ manager gathered the evidence from both video and key card information. When she was later confronted about it, Lewis admitted to stealing the money from the room.
This most recent arrest is not the former employee’s only brush with the law. Lewis has been convicted in the past for a 2006 embezzlement charge, a larceny conviction in 2009, and credit card theft the same year. Gardner wasn’t sure if the hotel knew about Lewis’ criminal history or gave a background check. He said it was “difficult to sympathize” with the hotel management in charge of hiring Lewis based on her extensive criminal background. He holds the hotel partially responsible, and said it “defies common sense” to let someone with her history gain entry to rooms that may contain valuables.
Hotel management said that they are now conducting background checks since this incident, and would not have hired Lewis if they had been aware of her criminal convictions. Lewis was released on bond, and awaits a preliminary examination. If convicted, the felony charge Lewis faces carries up to a four year sentence. This is a similar situation found in the recent article, Small Business Owner Shocked by Revelation That Employee Was Sex Offender , where the employer was not checking on criminal histories at the time of hire. When an employer fails to conduct background checks on potential employees, they are putting their business at risk. In this case, if the employee had stolen from a guest instead of her manager, it could have harmed the hotel’s reputation and worse, possibly opened them up to a lawsuit.
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