City may re-examine policy for hiring convicted felons

By Corey McConnell - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - At least one member of Cincinnati City Council wants the city to take another look at its policy on hiring convicted felons.

Councilmember Laketa Cole is requesting that city manager Milton Dohoney take another look at the policy.

"They just close the doors on you being closed, being closed, being closed," says Kevin Stephens.

Stevens is desperate for a door to open. Nine years ago, he was convicted of a drug charge, and says he's been clean ever since, but he can't get a job.

John Seymoure is in a similar situation.

"We're not trying to go back to jail with four kids, a house, car....we should be able to work and feed families the same," said Seymoure.

City manager Milton Dohoney says there's no blanket policy against hiring ex felons, but the decision to hire or not hire is in the hands of department heads.

"There are hundreds if not thousands of people in this city that have records who have turned their lives around," said Steven Johnson Grove with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center.

Vincent Pass is one of them. He came to Tuesday's rules and operations committee meeting to support other ex-felons trying to get a job.

"McDonalds' gave me a second chance so I try to preach that same philosophy of hard work and dedication," said Pass.

The issue now goes back to city administration to review policies. City council will look at the city's hiring practices when it comes to ex-felons again in August.

(Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)