Bernard Pendleton is a truck driver for the City Public Works Department. He's a Democratic Committeeman. He's also a convicted felon.(Apparently, however, there is no truth to the rumor that Public Works will be handing out Aqua Dots to city children for the holidays.)
Court documents show that in 1987 Pendleton approached a 12-year-old girl at a bus stop, asked her if she wanted to go smoke marijuana, then took her to a house and raped her, threatening, "If you tell somebody, you know what is going to happen."
Public Works Director Guy Costa is one of several city leaders who approved the hiring of Pendleton because of his Democratic Party affiliation. They never saw his criminal file - didn't know he raped a 12-year-old. But they did know he was a felon. Right on his job application he admits to pleading guilty to statutory rape and illegal gun possession.
"We felt it was good for us to hire him as a truck driver," Costa said.
Griffin: "So it's okay then? On his record he says, 'I have been convicted rape.' That doesn't come across anybody's desk?"
Costa: "Based on the information we had at the time we felt that he was the best candidate."
May we add that this type of thing is exactly why we need ordinances and not just departmental polices when it comes to hiring and promotions practices in this city?
While we are gratified to learn that women's and DV groups are continuing to meet with police and city officials this week over police policies on officers with domestic violence histories, we cannot allow the police bureau to simply institute their own guidelines.
There must be laws in place when it comes to the safety of women and children in our city.