I-Team: How many felons work for the City of Cleveland Waste Department?

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CLEVELAND - The Fox 8 I-Team has found that a convicted killer, rapist, or drug trafficker could be coming to your block on a regular basis, working for the City of Cleveland.

We checked records of city waste collectors to see what we might find, because a few days ago Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told the I-Team the city gives second chances to lots of convicts, sometimes even those convicted of killing people.

City officials, however, said they could not tell us how many felons are on the payroll or where they work.

"This has been a longstanding practice," the mayor said.

The I-Team started digging, checking workers in waste collection. The city would only provide employees and years of birth, but we ran those names in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records. We checked more than 200 workers and found felony records matching nearly a third of those names.

We also confirmed one employee convicted of involuntary manslaughter, another voluntary manslaughter, and yet another a sex offender ordered to check in with sheriff's deputies every 90 days for life. There were also many employees who have been convicted of several drug, and weapon charges.

A man working at the waste collection office said the registered sex offender is not on a route that goes near schools or playgrounds. He also said the man has done a good job, and has not had any problems as an employee.

Several city officials stress that those convicted of felonies deserve a second chance.

"And I will tell you that I've been told some people with criminal records wind up being some of our best employees," the mayor has said.

Other taxpayers, including one man, looking for a city job says there are many people needing employment that don't have felony records and can't get hired.

The city hiring in the spotlight because of the case of Lance Mason, a former judge. He viciously attacked his then- wife, went to prison, and when released he was hired by city hall.

Last month, he was arrested and is facing charges for killing his ex-wife, the same woman he attacked previously. The city has since fired Mason.

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