Gomers -- What's going wrong

POLICY GAP? Iowa City’s hiring policy requires that job applicants’ driving record for the previous three years be checked and that no one with a “poor “ (convicted of four or more violations) or “borderline” rating be hired for a job that involves driving duties. Well, city employee Jamar Collins, who recently was accused of leaving the scene of an injury accident while operating a city bus, had four such violations within a three-year period when he was hired in 2004. City officials are investigating the apparent discrepancy.


NEW BUT EMPTY: Five new or newly expanded halfway houses around Iowa are sitting empty. They were built in Davenport, Ames, Sioux City, Ottumwa and Waterloo to ease the overflow of people waiting to serve sentences at such residential facilities. However, after construction was completed at each site in recent years, money to operate the halfway houses wasn’t allocated by the state. Meanwhile, major renovation of men’s and women’s state prisons in Fort Madison and Mitchellville is wrapping up and those facilities will require more staff — and money. Clearly, something’s got to give in the state corrections budget.

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