Kinston Worker Charged With Drug Offense

A city of Kinston sanitation worker is charged with trafficking cocaine. The suspect is 32-year-old Sherrod Lamont Grant. He was arrested Wednesday after a three-month investigation. Lawmen say they seized about 4-point-8 ounces of cocaine from Grant's home on Queens Road.

We ran Grant's name through the North Carolina Department of Corrections offender search and came up with a match. Back in 1999, Grant was convicted in Lenoir County on a felony charge of drug possession. He did not serve time for that conviction. Grant was hired by Kinston in May 2005. His prior conviction begged the question: Does the city of Kinston do criminal background checks on prospective employees?

We asked that question of Kinston Public Services director Scott Stevens. He says, "As far as criminal background checks go, its not part of our maintenance workers and employees in the Public Works department. We don't do the criminal background checks, we do reference checks so we do talk to references to get some characteristics of the employee we are working to hire, really that serves us very well. We have very good group of employees."

There are roughly 400 city employees. Stevens also tells us they do drivers license checks as well, and check all employees before they hire them for insurability purposes. As far as drug testing, we're told the city of Kinston does do pre-employment screenings, but does not do random drug testing.