Philly legal clinic focuses on helping veterans with a criminal history

Leslie Getter and attorney Toby Oxholm discuss his case (Tom MacDonald

Local Veterans with criminal records are getting extra help filing to get those records expunged. 

About 100 area veterans with criminal records came to DiSorb systems in North Philadelphia to receive help from volunteer attorneys.  Leslie Geeter served in Vietnam.  After returning home 30 years ago, he got arrested.

“Everytime I apply for a job or I’m in a government program now it’s always my criminal record that shows up for 20 or 30 years ago,” he said.

Toby Oxholm, an attorney who wasn’t drafted for Vietnam, says he came out of retirement to help people like Geeter.

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“We do intake check up on a few things we prepare petitions, we check it with the client we file it to the court,give the information to the state police, they decide whether they are going to fight it or not,” Oxholm said.Then “we take it to the court if there’s no fight the record gets expunged.”

Ted McLaughlin, CEO of DiSorb Systems, says he hires veterans with criminal records all the time.

“When you give a returning citizen and a veteran an opportunity they work very hard, they are very loyal employees they work hard for us,” he said.”We work hard to help them out and they in turn work hard to take care of us.”

The veterans are working with attorneys in order to clear the criminal records of deeds that can be decades old, but are hampering their chances of getting a job.

In November, Pennsylvania expanded the types of crimes that can be expunged or sealed.

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