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Courts and Crime

Canton may join Cleveland and Cincinnati in allowing felons to apply
Civil Service rules would change to eliminate a criminal record from initial screening

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio says the changes on felony hires will allow for more nuance.
Courtesy of City of Canton
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In The Region:

Tomorrow (Friday), Canton may become the third Ohio city to stop requiring job seekers to declare whether they have criminal records. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the “ban the box” movement.

SCHULTZE: Felony records and city hiring

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Canton’s Civil Service Commission will vote on whether to join Cleveland and Cincinnati in dropping from its job applications the check box regarding  a criminal record. That will allow people with records to take the civil service test for certain city jobs.

Law Director Joe Martuccio says the changes won’t prevent the city from considering criminal records. It just allows those who test well to have a chance to explain the circumstances.

“We have rule changes that say that we will look at all sorts of circumstances like: How long it’s been since they (were) convicted, the nature of the conviction, things they’ve done to redeem themselves in the interim."

He says those factors can then be taken into account by human resources and the department that's doing the hiring. 

Martuccio notes the law itself prevents people with certain convictions – such as domestic violence – from holding certain jobs, such as police officer, and the city will make that clear before someone applies. 

The change has the backing of both Republicans and Democrats.
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