A man in Syracuse, New York, was fired from his job after a local newspaper published a story on Sunday about him turning his life around after being a member of a gang.
Quante Wright was an employee at Lowery Brothers Chrysler Jeep in Syracuse, and became the subject of a story on Syracuse.com detailing his gang-affiliated past. The story highlighted Wright’s efforts to turn his life around, and the events that led to him landing his dream job.
On Monday, the day after the article was published, Wright went to work and sold a Jeep Cherokee. Following the sale, he was unexpectedly fired. According to Steve Spector, the manager of the dealership, Wright was fired for not disclosing details of his history as a member of the Brighton Brigade gang.
Wright allegedly spent six years in jail before leaving the gang. He graduated college in April with an associate’s degree in business.
Spector told Syracuse.com that he hired Wright based on his interview and resume, and never asked him about his criminal record. The day after hiring Wright, however, Spector presented him with a form that required information about any criminal convictions. Though Wright admitted on the form to having a criminal past and to living in a halfway house, he allegedly did not reveal all of the specifics and details. Spector said he learned of the full extent of Wight’s background through the article.
“There is so much stigma that attaches to a criminal record, so much stereotyping of people who have records that it's so hard for them to really get a second chance,” Marsha Weissman, executive director at Center for Community Alternatives, told Syracuse.com. "I really do hope that as a community we step up and really give him the second chance that he seems to be working so hard to get.”