DENVER (CBS4) – State lawmakers are debating a bill that will affect Coloradans who have ever been arrested.
Even if charges are dropped they may appear on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check website, which is used by potential employers, landlords and others.
Jory Bergsing, 38, told CBS4 he has been negatively affected by the way the charges get listed.
When a prospective employer does a background check on him through the CBI, kidnapping, false imprisonment and wiretapping charges show up. He had an arrest in a domestic dispute seven years ago but that’s not how the case ended.
“What was the outcome?” CBS4′s Rick Sallinger asked Bergsing.
“I got a misdemeanor domestic violence assault, was the final charge. No kidnapping, no wire tapping,” he said.
At one time he faced serious felony charges, but those were all dismissed by the district attorney in Larimer County. But they still show up on his CBI record with no mention that there was only a misdemeanor with community service as punishment.
“I have been looking for a job for 2 1/2 years and if you apply online you won’t get calls back,” Bergsing said.
He’s far from alone. The American Civil Liberties Union is behind the bill being considered by state legislators, which would make it law to post only the outcome of any case, not the original arrest charges.
“How serious can this be? Can it ruin someone’s life?” CBS4′s Rick Sallinger asked said ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein.
“It can stop people from getting jobs, from getting housing. It can certainly affect people in many ways,” Silverstein said.
Regardless of what happens with the bill, Bergsing believes that he will be able to get his CBI records sealed by producing the records of what happened in his case.
“I’m disgusted because, I had to do all the leg work myself to fix this,” he said.
CBI officials say they have no choice but to post the arrest information regardless of the outcome. That’s because the agency says it was mandated by the Legislature to do so.