City Councilor in Massachusetts Calls for New Criminal Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 1/10/2013

Linda Vacon, a city councilor in Holyoke, Massachusetts, has called for new background checks to be conducted on all present municipal employees. Vacon isn’t calling for the background checks because they weren’t conducted when the employees were hired; she just believes that the employees should be checked regularly, so the city can ensure they have only quality employees working for the city. The city employs over 2,000 people, most full time and some part time. The employees consist of teachers, firemen, policemen, and others employed by public offices. In an interview about the background checks, Vacon said that, “Taxpayers fund the salaries of these public employees and I believe this is a minimum level of accountability that should be completed and updated periodically.”

The continual background checks that could possibly be required of the municipal employees would not be a comprehensive nationwide background check, but rather a statewide criminal background check. The checks would be run through the state’s Criminal Offender Record Information system, known as CORI. This is the same systems that the state’s employers, landlords, and background screening companies use for basic criminal background checks. The new continual screenings that Vacon has called for are not because she believes that the municipal employees are not fit for their jobs, she just believes that regular checks would ensure that the current employees stay on track.

Vacon’s request for the background checks is because the city has a new personnel administrator, Robert G. Judge. “We now have a qualified personnel director and it is my intention to support the professional conduct of the office,” said Vacon during her interview. The old personnel administrator was fired in early July of 2012, though the reasons for his dismissal have been withheld by the mayor who says that the matter is private. Before the dismissal of the former personnel director, some people had complaints with how the administrator managed the direction of the personnel department. With Judge in place, Vacon believes that now is the perfect time for some new employee screening, to set everyone at ease and show her faith in the new personnel director.

Background check companies need to be able to offer their clients dependable service so that quality employees are hired consistently. One such company is, and they deliver reliable services that provide quality background checks for both large and small businesses and facilities. One service offered through is the US OneSearch, which uses a nationwide criminal database to conduct thorough criminal background checks. The search covers 49 different states as well as Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico. It also comprehensively checks through a variety of criminal records such as arrest records, incarceration records, and drug test records. It also searches sex offender registries. Another service similar to the US OneSearch is the US AliasSearch. This service uses the same nationwide criminal database and checks for all the same records, but also searches for known aliases and maiden names. Along with these services, employers can use the ongoing criminal monitoring tool, which allows employers and businesses to keep track of their employee’s criminal activity. The tool works by constantly monitoring the employees to see if any criminal activity appears in their history after they have been employed. If they commit a criminal act while employed, their employer is notified through a confidential email. This service can be renewed yearly by the employer and names can be taken off the list or added during the renewal process. These services can provide comprehensive background checks that will assist companies and facilities through their screening processes so that only the most qualified employees are hired.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit




Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 20 Employers who use E-Verify must follow the proper steps and procedures when they receive a “tentative non-confirmation notice” from either the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security. Failure to follow the proper procedures can cost employers both time and money. 
  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants. 
  • March 01 In an age of "industry disruptors" turning established business models on their heads, companies such as Uber and Lyft rely on a unique workforce of individuals outside the traditional employer-employee context. Uber calls them "partners" while other businesses refer to them as "independent contractors," the official classification these individuals use for tax purposes. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revealed they had warned a business, Postmates, for misclassifying their staff as independent contractors. In the NLRB's determination, these individuals were employees.