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Council to review felons on city payroll
Mar 28, 2006 12:00 am
March 20, 2006 A list of felons the City of Lebanon employs will be unveiled this morning when city lawmakers convene to discuss city hiring practices.
Lebanon Personnel Director Jim Henderson confirmed Friday he was in the process of reviewing employee files to compile a list to present to city councilors. He added the list was requested by city lawmakers who initially called for a meeting to discuss the issue.
"That's one of the things is a list," Henderson said. "And, I'm sure it will be ready Monday morning."
Sources in city government said the list may include more than 10 felons employed by the city.
This morning's meeting comes in response to findings originally published March 13 in The Lebanon Democrat.
Following a February fight between two city employees that left one employee facing criminal charges and the other – a relative of Lebanon Mayor Don Fox – in the hospital, the newspaper discovered both men to be convicted felons.
City sanitation worker Chauncey Majors, 33, was charged with aggravated assault in the Feb. 28 beating of co-worker David Randall Fox Jr.
Majors, according to a search of public records, was convicted in 1995 as an accessory after the fact for selling cocaine, a Class E felony. Fox Jr. was convicted in 2002 of aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, as well as four counts of forgery up to $1,000, a Class E felony.
Public records also indicated 25-year-old Rockford Alan Cox – a grandson of the mayor who was hired by the city as a meter reader Jan. 31 – was convicted in 2000 of conspiracy to possess cocaine, a Class C felony, after pleading guilty to the charge in Wilson County Criminal Court.
A call to Fox was not returned Friday, but the mayor recently told The Democrat the issue does not involve the enforcement of city hiring policies, but whether or not felons should be barred from employment altogether.
"What we are saying if we don't hire them is that if a young person makes a mistake then their life is over," Fox said. "When you make a mistake, you should have a chance to right your life."
Ward 6 City Councilor Kathy Warmath said Friday city lawmakers must first review the city's hiring policy this morning. Then, she said, if any part of the process is "broken," it should be fixed.
Warmath noted she was unaware of the exact number of felons on the city payroll.
"I think, at this point, it's important that we don't lose sight of the process because the devil's in the details," she said. "I think it's also important for the city employees to know that if they're doing a good job they don't need to worry. This is about a broken process … it's not about them at all. It's about getting the system the way we want it so we can feel comfortable with it."
Staff Writer Brian Harville can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.