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Courts and Crime

Felons may soon move out of Canton's 'need-not-apply' category
Canton could join Cleveland and Cincinnati in no longer automatically discounting people with criminal records

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M.L. Schultze
Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio says the change would allow for nuance and reform.
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In The Region:

Today, Canton may join a growing number of cities in the state and country who will no longer automatically exclude people with felony records from getting any city job. Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio talks with WKSU’s M.L. Schultze about why the city is considering opening the door.

Q and A with Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio on the proposed changes, and thei

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Right now, you cannot take the Civil Service test in Canton if you have a criminal record. And that means you are closed out of most city jobs.

But that may change in a few hours. The city’s Civil Service Commission is considering rule changes that would allow someone to take the test even if they have a record. And if they do well enough, and if they make the final cut, they could be hired into certain jobs.  Law Director Joe Martuccio says it is not that a record will no longer matter; it’ll just be dealt with in a different context -- the interview.

Martuccio says he is not aware of anyone who objects to the changes. And he notes that the law itself prevents people with certain convictions from getting certain jobs, such as becoming police officers.

"One cannot be a police officer if one has had a felony or even a misdemeanor domestic violence because if one has had a domestic viooence misdemeanor, they can’t carry a gun. And if you can’t carry a gun, you can’t be a police officer. So … we’ll tell people up front not to waste their time because certain offenses exclude certain jobs."

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