Three current and former Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles workers charged in a bribes-for-licenses scheme were hired despite criminal records. One had been convicted of dealing cocaine but still landed a government job. “This is a security concern,” said Michael Carrington, who is heading a review of the agency’s fraud detection procedures.
The BMV conducts criminal background checks on applicants, but past arrests do not exclude people from employment. Now the BMV is reconsidering whether to continue to hire people with criminal records. One man accused in the bribery case pleaded guilty in 1992 to conspiracy to deal cocaine and carrying a handgun without a license. The other two have been arrested but never convicted. The suspects are charged with forging immigration documents and providing answers on driving tests for five to 10 undocumented aliens daily. Prosecutors say $300 per transaction was collected from foreign nationals seeking licenses and state identification to stay in the U.S. illegally.
The agency tries to keep employees who have been arrested in connection with certain crimes from handling money, spokeswoman Michele Sponsler said.
As for criminal records of job applicants: “We look at it on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “People do change. There are people who turn their lives around.”