Earlier this week, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano (Democrat) released his outline for a plan that would help onetime nonviolent felons expunge their records. Here are the stipulations:
The crime must have been nonviolent.
The felon must stay clean for five years after committing the crime.
As of now, hiring attorneys to get one’s record expunged can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. This cost would be put on the county and would cost the county about $400 per expungement, “a good investment in making people employable,” according to an op-ed (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008803060364) in the Detroit Free Press.
Ficano’s plan would pay the legal records and fees and help the felon by “bringing together representatives [from the] prosecutor’s office, [the] Michigan State Police, and Legal Aid and Defender, [‘the largest provider of free legal services to the indigent in Michigan’] offices” (Detroit Free Press).
So let me get this straight. You want my tax dollars to go toward expunging some felon, so that I could be hiring somebody convicted of embezzlement, grand theft, or racketeering as my companies CFO? Or what about an arsonist (I’m not sure if it’s considered a nonviolent crime, but if you burn down your house for the insurance claim, I don’t see how that would be a violent crime). What about fraud? I could be hiring a burglar or somebody convicted of theft as my head of security!
The op-ed says that around 1.3 million Michiganders, or 1 in 6 adults, have felony records. No wonder Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson the Great (Republican) says stuff like, “Everybody should go out and buy a gun. I recommend an Uzi. If you don’t like guns, then I suggest you buy a pair of guard dogs, preferably a pit bull and a Rottweiler.”
When our elected officials go around with plans that would erase the criminal records of criminals at the expense of TAXPAYERS, I wonder if they aren’t being bribed by the felons. This is ridiculous. Sure Michigan needs jobs, but we don’t have to completely kill our legal system so that we can hire people. Felons are prohibited from holding certain jobs for a reason…they’re felons!
Now, if you want to hire somebody who was convicted of embezzlement as your company’s CFO, go right ahead, but you should have the legal right to know that the man (or woman) was convicted of embezzlement.