Jason Calacanis's Felony-Friendly Hiring PracticesS

Jason Calacanis, the CEO of Mahalo, the world's largest compendium of rewritten Google search results, claims he hired a computer hacker because he never bothered to Google him. Now his employee is headed to jail.

In a mass email, Calacanis wrote that he and Mahalo's CTO, Mark Jeffrey, were ignorant of Schiefer's background, even though his 2007 guilty plea to installing malware was easily found on Google.

We didn't know John was convicted of infecting 250,000 computers with bots when we hired him. We have a rigorous hiring process at Mahalo, in which each candidate must go through an average of five to eight interviews, and in which at least three, but more typically five, references are checked. Our CTO, and one of my oldest friends, Mark Jeffrey, did all of this with John, and he passed with flying colors.

However, Mark screwed up by not doing a simple Google search on John's name. If Mark had, he would have easily found out about these crimes, we would never have hired John, and I would not be writing this letter. Why would we even take the risk of hiring a felon hacker? No one would, right?

Calacanis makes a rousing defense of Schiefer, saying the experience of watching an employee get sentenced to four years in jail has taught him powerful lessons about redemption and rehabilitation. He excuses Schiefer's crimes by saying, essentially, that everyone does it and that Schiefer was abused as a child.

However, I consider myself a fairly decent judge of character, and after spending months with John, I'm convinced he was an angry stupid kid when he launched his botnet attack (which did .000000001% of the damage it could have). Now he's an adult who just wants to make a decent living, spend time with his significant other and breathe the clean air off the Pacific Ocean by our offices in Santa Monica.

Perhaps that's all true. But it certainly seems embarrassing for a guy who's been entrusted with $21 million by investors to build a better search engine to admit he let a felon into the office without bothering to do a simple search first. May we suggest you add this search to your rewrite list?