INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - After I-Team 8 found a man who pleaded guilty to felony drug related charges coaching a local little league team, new questions were raised about the background check performed on him. Little League administrators say his background check came back clean, and experts say that's not surprising.
Russell Pryor, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge connected to drug trafficking. Lowell Little League board members agreed to allow him as a coach after his background check came back clean.
Administrators say that check is standard procedure.
"The league has to conduct a background check on them. We provide 125 free background checks to each league, and when they charter with us, they agree to conduct those background checks," said Little League Central Region Director Nina Johnson.
I-Team 8 found that missing information in background checks may be a common problem.
"If someone has a criminal history in the state of Indiana, and that information has been submitted to the state police, we will have that record. But, our records are only as good as what's submitted to us," said Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten.
Some county courts submit incomplete information, and others don't submit information to the database at all, Bursten said. The ISP database also searches only for convictions in Indiana.
"There is no official, nationwide criminal search," said investigator Tracy Clifford, Vice President of Reference Services, Inc. Clifford conducts dozens of background checks every day.
"We oftentimes find felonies and other important offenses that other companies often miss. There is an art and a science to this, and we feel we've perfected it as much as can be. But, there is no guarantee that you always find every single offense that's related to that individual. There is no doubt that some information won't be found," he said.
That includes cases that haven't been fully sentenced or cases that are connected to larger indictments--like Pryor's.
Online services that offer comprehensive background checks for a fee are often untrustworthy, Clifford added.
"Anyone who is using an online service is definitely taking risks they shouldn't be taking, because they're going to get the information and feel warm of fuzzy that they have all the information that's out there, when in fact, they don't. So, it gives a false sense of security," he said.
Starting next week, some of that information will be hidden even deeper.
HEA 1482 will prevent employers and other outside parties from seeing all but the most serious of criminal convictions.
"If somebody has a misdemeanor, or what I call the less serious D Felonies, then their records will be completely expunged," said Rep. Judson McMillin (R-Brookville), the bill's author. "And, that means employers will not have the opportunity to find those anymore."
Rep. McMillin says the new law will help those who have served their time find and keep a job.
"Anytime somebody is charged with something, if nothing has happened with that and no charges are pending a year after the initial arrest or charge, then they have can that arrest completely wiped out. But, if the case is still pending, then they can still see it. Prior to this law in Indiana, if someone were charged with something and then acquitted, in most circumstances there was no opportunity to ever get that off of your record. They were still having to answer for that arrest 10, 20, 30 years down the road, even though they were never convicted of anything," he said.
Opponents worry the new law will keep too much hidden.
The new measure takes effect Monday.
The city of Kokomo has purchased a former steel plant site that has undergone years of environmental cleanup and plans to use the land to try to reduce damage from future flooding.
A northwest Indiana county council has passed a resolution stating its opposition to a proposed 47-mile tollway would Interstate 65 with I-55 south of Chicago.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rural and volunteer fire departments in 14 southern Indiana counties are getting a boost from a share of more than $314,000 generated by the sale of trees felled in some of the state's forests.