Appeals Court: Judge Can’t Erase Defendant’s Record

NEW YORK (AP) -

A federal appeals court said Thursday that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to erase the criminal records of some people who’ve been successfully rehabilitated and it recommended that Congress take a look at the possibility.

Still, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision by a Brooklyn federal judge to do just that for a health care worker who lost jobs repeatedly after employers checked her criminal history and discovered a 1997 crime that led to a 2001 health-care-fraud conviction. She served five years of probation.

The three-judge Manhattan appeals court panel said the judge, John Gleeson, had no authority to wipe out her criminal record in May 2015 after she said the conviction was preventing her from getting or keeping a job as a home health aide.

Gleeson had said the woman — who’s listed only as Jane Doe in court papers — was guilty of “minor criminal conduct” who is among 65 million Americans with a criminal record who suffer as a result.