Sunday, December 16, 2007

Felon Balanced Wikipedia's Books

"Wikipedia COO was convicted felon"

Wikipedia's Chief Operating Officer probably didn't put these accomplishments on her resume:
  • On parole for a DUI hit and run resulting in a fatality
  • Passing bad checks
  • Theft
  • Petty larceny
  • More DUIs
  • Unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gun shot to the chest
That last item interests me. Apparently it's possibly to shoot your boyfriend legally? As a married man, I wonder if that extends to husbands.

The felonious bookkeeper left Wikipedia last July. Wikimedia will get around to doing an audit sometime. And, they say they still don't know about those convictions.

It looks like Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation should be congratulated for their a non-discriminatory hiring policy. Maybe indiscriminate would be a better word.

More seriously, this matter of a non-profit's embarrassment seems to have at least two lessons.
  1. Use of today's information technology, to check out potential employees' background
  2. Use yesterday's attitudes about due dilligence
I'm old enough to remember criticisms of 'good old boy' networks, and why hiring should be handled 'by the numbers.'

The "Register" article reports that Doran's disappearance was noticed by a Wikipedia editor. "Pray tell, what happened to Carolyn Doran?" was the editor's question for the Foundation board. "I've asked on a number of fronts and been met with stone walls...The Chief Operating Officer of a top ten web property vanishes, with no explanation of any kind?"

Here's Wikimedia Foundation chairman, Florence Devouard's, answer: "Has it ever occurred to you that Carolyn herself may have preferred so?" Devouard wrote. "If the issue disturbs you so much, I have a suggestion. Just give Carolyn a call...she is still living in Florida. You may try to find her contact on internet, or white pages? I think that when you want to know something, the best you can do is to ask directly the person. No?"

When Devouard's posted that reply, Carolyn Doran was locked in the Pinellas County, Florida jail. Embarrassing.

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