Former Councilman Rick Mariano is back in Council for the first time today since his release from prison, where he served four years on corruption charges.
Mariano is set to testify on legislation proposed by Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller that would restict the ability of employers to ask job applicants about their criminal records. According to Mariano, many of his friends from prison have had difficulty finding employment.
"I'm guilty. I did my time. I just want a level playing field for myself and all the other people that have been incarcerated," said Mariano, who was convicted of taking bribes while in office.
Still on house arrest, Mariano said he got special permission to attend the hearing today. He said he has done some work as an electrician and worked for a Kensington non-profit since he was released from prison last year fall.
"There's not many ex-Council people that have been through this," Mariano said. "We thought it would be a novel idea if I could get permission to come down here and I did."
Life after prison has been bittersweet in many ways, Mariano said. He has reunited with his sons and is back living in Kensington. But he said his marriage has broken up.
"Every day I get up, I go to the gym, I do my job, I say my prayers and hopefully everything works out," Mariano said.