EAST CHICAGO | The Park Board on Tuesday has approved paying $240 to Star Security and Investigation for background checks performed on individuals who were interviewed for part-time recreation leader jobs.
Three have been hired and one decided not to take the position.
Sandra Favela, human resources director, told the board at a meeting earlier this month the city had begun using the Merrillville-based company to screen workers.
Board members at that time delayed a decision on whether to approve a contract with the company.
Board member Rick Rodriquez asked why the East Chicago Police Department cannot conduct the background checks.
Joseph Allegretti, city corporation counsel, said federal regulation and state statute allow police to use the system that offers access to large criminal databases only when it is in conjunction with criminal investigations.
Allegretti also explained that Favela asking the Park Board for approval to pay for the background checks was more of a "housekeeping matter."
"The State Board of Accounts advises the city controller's office that all claims, including this kind of claim for contractual services, has to be approved by a board, any board," he said.
However, Favela told the board background checks for three additional part-time recreation leaders the city is looking to hire will not be conducted until she addresses the board next month regarding quotes to be received from four other local companies she has contacted that provide similar services.
"But from what I gather, they're a little bit more expensive than the one that we're using," Favela said.