Mariano returns to Philadelphia City Council as witness, not lawmaker

Philadelphia City Council is holding hearings to make it easier for ex-convicts to get a job. One well-known convicted felon who testified was on familiar turf.

Former City Councilman Rick Mariano returned to council chambers as a witness for the first time since being released after doing time on a federal corruption conviction.  Mariano says ex-cons have a hard time finding a job especially during a time of high unemployment.

“I’m a felon now, so it’s hard enough for a person with a college degree and a trade and some connections to get jobs,” said Mariano. “It’s really hard for someone who has nothing going for them.”

The bill wants questions about criminal records removed from job applications.  Mariano referred to Michael Vick’s opportunity with the Eagles when talking about the legislation.

“People need a second chance, regardless if they can throw a football 80 yards or not, they need a second chance all these people are coming home they are part of the fabric of this city this bill would give them a second chance because it’s all about jobs,” he said.

The bill would allow criminal background checks on a second interview in some cases.  For example daycare workers would be checked for crimes against children.  

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