By Jim Kouri
One of the top members of the U.S. House of Representatives is concerned about the lack of employment standards for city workers within the District of Columbia. The concern is greater now that the mayor of the District of Columbia declared his city a “sanctuary” for illegal aliens.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, introduced legislation that would require criminal background checks for certain District government employees and establish the same standards the federal government uses when it hires for all prospective District government employees.
“This bill will help prevent past failures by ensuring that District of Columbia leaders are held accountable for conducting and reviewing the results of background checks when making hiring decisions,” Issa said.
“Unless or until District leaders stop apologizing for outrageous abuses in government and adopt measures to address these problems, congressional action is the only way to implement needed standards as a bulwark against cronyism,” noted Chairman Issa.
Issa’s proposed bill — H.R. 3285 — lists certain criteria that the District hiring authority must take into account to determine the suitability for any applicant for employment in the District government. These standards are consistent with employment suitability standards for federal government employment.
These criteria include: misconduct or negligence in employment; criminal or dishonest conduct; substance abuse without evidence of rehabilitation; and knowing and willful engagement in acts or activities to overthrow the United States Government by force.
The legislation also requires criminal background checks for those individuals appointed to the Excepted Service within the DC government. Excepted Service employees include those individuals appointed to positions such as the City Administrator, the Director of Campaign Finance, District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics, and employees on the Mayor’s personal staff.
The proposed background check is consistent with those currently being conducted for District employees who work with children, i.e. teachers, child daycare workers, social workers and others.
The H.R. 3285 targets misconduct or negligence in prior employment, criminal or dishonest conduct, illegal use of narcotics and other controlled substances, and other misbehavior.