Michael Vick is back on the field, now playing quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. That means his new employer is entitled to a $10,000 tax credit available from the Philadelphia Mayor's Office for the Re-entry of Ex-Offenders (MORE), payable to employers who hire people who have been released from prison. MORE is part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Program, and is at least partly funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It involves multiple partnerships between correctional facilities and states, and states and the fed, and other combinations.
After doing 18 months in prison for running a dog fighting operation, Vick did not come back as a fan favorite, and the Eagles have taken some bad press for hiring him.
Vick’s supporters say he paid his debt to society and should be given a second change. .. and he’s getting one. Not many former inmates start their new lives with a salary of $1.6 million.
Eagles’ spokeswoman Pamela Browner Crawley told reporters that the availability of the credit did not factor into the decision to hire Vick, and Crawley indicated that the team would not claim the credit.
"It was never considered,” she said. And, she added, the Eagles were not making a statement about ex-offenders, but they do think that this could give rise to discussion of "a very important issue for the community."