Heads are still reeling in Dallas, TX after city employees failed to detect multiple problems with a new hire’s resume. That new hire, Antoine Flowers, went on to allegedly steal iPads worth $10,000 from the city before resigning in late January.
Now, nearly four months later, the city of Dallas is still trying to explain the chain of events that allowed Flowers to be hired.
The first time Flowers was employed at City Hall, he came as a temp worker from a local agency called DFW Technology. City Hall apparently assumed DFW Technology had done a background check on Flowers, an assumption which proved to have disastrous consequences later on. This just goes to show that businesses should always conduct their own background checks and employment verifications on prospective employees, temp workers, and contractors. Doing so is quick and easy with the help of backgroundchecks.com, which offers instant results through comprehensive criminal background check tools like US OneSEARCH.
To their credit, Dallas City Hall did intend to follow up on their new temp worker by subjecting him to a deep background check. Flowers avoided this check by simply not showing up for his appointment with the Dallas Police Department. This just goes to show that having guidelines for employment background checks is not enough. Businesses must also have safeguards in place to ensure that the guidelines are actually followed.
The next event in this botched hiring debacle occurred when Flowers was hired on full time as an IT Manager. At this point, an HR employee did attempt to run a background check on Flowers. However, when the background check failed to associate the Social Security Number that Flowers had provided with any known name or address, this HR employee apparently ignored the problem. Flowers’ background check was not properly escalated to an HR supervisor, and the IT hiring manager never saw it.
Had Dallas City Hall run an employment verification check on Flowers, they would have quickly eliminated him as a job candidate for the IT position before he had a chance to steal the iPads. Flowers claimed to have worked for NASA and held a top secret security clearance in the Army. A simple employment verification check from backgroundchecks.com would have revealed that these claims were totally false.
An education verification check would have proven that Flowers had not attended either of the colleges he listed on his resume. He had not earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, nor was he enrolled in a Master’s program at Southern Methodist University.
The hiring manager in charge of reviewing Flowers’ application, a relatively new hire himself, claims he did not know that checking employment and education references was part of his job. Had the hiring manager been a little more proactive, he could have easily checked Flowers’ resume through backgroundchecks.com. It would have taken just a few days to run the education and employment verification checks, and he could have saved the city from $10,000 in employee theft and a lot of embarrassment.
Members of the Dallas City Council have requested that the City Auditor investigate this matter further to see exactly why existing background check procedures were not followed and red flags created by Flowers’ fake SSN were ignored.
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Author: Michael Klazema
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.