Non-Profit Explains Why Man With Criminal Record Was Hired as Caretaker
The man wanted for allegedly beating and robbing the cancer patient he cared for, has turned himself in to police.
Friday morning, Christopher Mosco, 38, turned himself in to Erie police.
He was arraigned in the afternoon on charges including robbery and assault.
According to investigators, on September 30th he barged into Donna Lilley's east 27th street home, punched her several times, then stole her purse which contained nearly 100 morphine pills, Fentanyl patches and cash.
A judge sent Mosco to prison under a $25,000 bond.
As we've reported, Mosco was Lilley's former caretaker, and worked for Voices for Independence.
The non-profit is now responding as to how he was hired, despite a lengthy criminal record.
With a quick check of court records online, Erie News Now uncovered that Mosco was convicted of a handful of misdemeanors over the years, and many harsher felony counts which were dismissed.
The CEO of Voices for Independence says, despite his lengthy criminal record, he did in fact pass a state background check.
According to the court documents, from 1999 until 2018, Mosco was convicted of five misdemeanors from thefts, to escape, to drug possession, along with a couple of summary charges.
Harsher charges including felony robbery and terroristic threats, were dismissed by the courts.
So those charges would not show up on a caregiver background check, “The criminal background check that we're required to run is post due process, so anyone who maybe was accused of a crime but not convicted, that wouldn't show up on that check,” said Shona Eakin, CEO of Voices for Independence.
Eakin says because it's a personnel matter, she can't talk about Mosco specifically.
Erie News Now has confirmed Mosco was an employee of Voices for Independence, and was suspended following the allegations against him.
Eakin says Voices for Independence recruits, trains and hires direct care workers to help those with disabilities in their homes.
According to Eakin, the organization runs all required state background checks and clearances, “The Department of Health and Department of Human Services, make allowances of certain things. It doesn't necessarily mean that people have to be completely clear of any charge,” said Eakin.
So, while misdemeanor charges will likely show up on a criminal records check, there are allowances for summary offenses and misdemeanors, so it would be up to employers if they want to hire an individual. With records checks, Eakin says they do not see details of crimes.
And when it comes to direct care workers, people can request a neighbor or friend to care for them. So, as long as they pass the background checks, and the training program through Voices for Independence, they can be hired.
As we reported, in Lilley’s case, she tells Erie News Now Mosco is her daughter’s boyfriend and she hired him at her daughter’s request, she says Mosco worked as her caretaker for less than six months.
Eakin says Voices for Independence is diligent about ensuring the people they serve get the best care possible.