Background Checks for Public Officials

Should we require background checks for public officials?  Wait!  You mean we do not require background checks for public officials?  Most cities and counties – no is the answer.  Yes, there is a check for law enforcement and fire departments (not even all of them).  However, for many public offices, there is no background check required.  I am not talking about elected officials, as there is no background check requirement for any elected official I know of.

Now that you understand that – I ask again: Should we require background checks for public officials?  I think there should be a background check for all public officials – perhaps at least a standard public records check – and that the background check be made a part of the public filing for office.

What harm can this do?  Most likely there will be none.  There may come a time that there will be a case of mistaken identity – which can easily be proven by a thorough or deeper background check of said records.  This way the people paying the salary – also known as the public or the people will be aware of whom they are paying.

Maybe we could avoid an embarrassing situation like they have in Annapolis where it is “news” that the transportation chief has a criminal record.  This is the kind of information anyone should know before they guy is hired – not after.

I recommend that you conduct a background check on anyone before they are hired – they are not expensive, and can save lots of trouble, time, and possibly trials later.

Whatever you do – Stay safe!

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