Auditor: Background Checks Weren’t Performed On Several Mayoral Appointees

by Categorized: Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, City Hall, Internal Audit Commission Date:

The Hartford Internal Audit Commission has reviewed the city’s practices for hiring unclassified — or non-union — employees (those appointed by Mayor Pedro Segarra), and found that several employees had not undergone a background check, had not submitted to a drug test or been required to fill out a job application.

Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo reviewed files for the city’s former interim finance director and current interim director of public works, the mayor’s chief of staff, the human resources director and the interim chief operating officer. He also discussed hiring practices with the mayor’s cabinet members, the human resources director and staff.

“We were informed by HR management that their office is not involved in the recruitment, application process, screening and ultimate offer of employment by the mayor’s office,” Trujillo wrote in a memo to the interim chief operating officer. “Our review of the process and the related personal files of the above mentioned employees disclosed that, except for the HR director, there were no job applications (resumes are not a substitute to an application per HR policy), criminal background checks (in accordance with the city adoption of “ban the box”) or drug tests performed or on file and there was no documentation of any references being named or checked with.”

He added: “We acknowledge that the mayor has the authority to discretionally hire under the guidelines of the municipal code and not utilize the resources of HR. However, we recommend that in the future the mayor’s office follow best practices when hiring and bring HR into the post-selection process. The mayor’s office should instruct the HR department to obtain all pertinent hiring information and perform all standard hiring steps that are applied to all other hires by the city and maintain the documentation in related HR files.”

The audit commission began reviewing the city’s hiring practices after it was revealed that Segarra had appointed a deputy chief of staff (who had a criminal history) without performing a background check on him. The candidate later withdrew from the position.

More on this soon at Courant.com. Here’s the memo: Hiring

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.