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Here a conviction, there a conviction, everywhere a conviction conviction

sears-tower.jpgThree years ago, Jerome Felske applied to be a part-time truck driver for the city of Chicago and even though he admitted to six criminal convictions (five thefts and a burglary) he got the job. And this was despite the fact that the city had a No Ex-Cons policy, because “Felske had clout: He was helping register voters for the Hispanic Democratic Organization, then a powerful patronage army delivering votes for Mayor Daley.”

Last January, however, things took a bad turn for Felske when he was fired. Seems that the city inspector found out that Felske didn’t merely have 6 convictions, but a whopping 22 convictions. Turns out the city doesn’t like it when you only fess up to some of your heavily populated criminal past.

But don’t you cry for Jerome Felske. Because two months ago, he got his job back! The city’s Human Resources Board found the firing to be too stiff a punishment since the city attorneys couldn’t prove that Felske intentionally left those pesky other 16 convictions off his job application.

Felske, 64, didn’t lie about his past, his lawyer, Joseph Spingola, successfully argued; he just didn’t remember every last crime.
“I challenge anybody that is here today to try to recall their grocery list from only two weeks ago,” Spingola, a former chairman of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals under Daley, told the board. “Essentially, he is being punished here for not having the best memory of anybody around.”

Ok, look — I have a sieve for a brain. Awful memory. And if I had 22 convictions under my belt over the span of a few decades, I might not be able to remember each and every one, particularly the dates of conviction. But I’m guessing I probably would remember most of it. And even if I couldn’t remember it all, I suspect I’d know that it was in the ballpark of 20, which is far removed from 6.

In any event, nice to know that Chicago gives you twenty-two strikes before you’re out. But you better behave, Mr. Felske, cause that next conviction might just get you a month unpaid leave!

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Comments

That excuse seems like it came right out of an onion article. Life is weird.