Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is defending the city's policy on background checks for workers.
The mayor says background checks are done on people who are applying for jobs where they are most likely to come into contact with children, including police, fire, airport and city parks jobs. However, DPW workers, including the level three sex offender who was recently arrested and fired - are not subject to such checks.
"This is unfortunate, and we clearly did not want this to happen," the mayor said as she talked for the first time publicly about the arrest and termination of Mark Carrigan.
Carrigan was a City of Syracuse sanitation worker who was arrested in March for having oral sex in a car with a 15 year old boy. His previous conviction came in 2000 for 3rd degree sodomy.
Earlier this month, according to the Onondaga District Attorney's Office, Carrigan was given bail for having oral sex in a car with a 15 year old boy. Earlier this month, according to the Onondaga District Attorney's Office, Carrigan was given bail in the amount of $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond.
The city is not changing its background check policy for new hires, and that is drawing intense criticism, including a blog post from Jim Reith who soon begins a new radio and television endeavor with WCNY.
On his blog, Reith wrote this about the city's current policy, saying, "That is insane given the world we live in today, especially when there are plenty of companies out there that do background checks. In its infinite wisdom the city adds that it has no plans to change its hiring practices. Wow."