Even though Kirk Parker, Jr., has an “extensive criminal record,” he was still hired in 2019 by the Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works to be a “commercial driver.” In early-2022, Parker was for stealing a “city vehicle in an attempted ATM theft.” Court records showed that Parker’s criminal past includes “armed robbery and firearm charges in 2012…Convicted in 2014, he was given a 20-year prison sentence for each charge with several years suspended, then given probation after conviction.”
At press time, it was not clear whether Parker was hired despite a known criminal past, or whether the department did not conduct a background check. A spokesperson for the department said that “[a]Any DPW hire requires a criminal background check. That’s standard procedure.”
The Parker incident shows, again, the power of a criminal background check to help protect the public. There are many people deserving of second chances, but there are also instances where past criminal history is predictive of future crime. Employers should hire with both open hearts and open eyes.
Keith Daniels, DPW employee accused of trying to steal ATM, criminal record raises questions over hiring, Fox 45 News, Jan. 6, 2022.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More