Thursday, October 8, 2009

Census May Have Hired Violent Criminals to Canvass Your Home

A Senate Subcommittee hearing today revealed that nearly 36,000 Census Bureau employees were hired despite the fact that the fingerprint component of their criminal record checks was botched. Despite additional name checks recommended by the FBI, the GAO said that it was possible that more than 200 employees hired by the Census Bureau had criminal records, and were in contact with the public while canvassing for the ongoing 2010 census.

If the properly processed criminal record checks are any indication, the Bureau may have let a large number of violent criminals slip through the cracks. Of the prints that were properly checked, about one percent, or 1,800 workers, had criminal records that name checks failed to identify.

Of these 1,800 workers with criminal records, about 750 had their employment terminated or further reviewed due to criminal records that included crimes like rape, manslaughter and child abuse. Projecting these numbers to the employees with spoilt prints, the GAO came up with the figure of 200 census workers that may have had serious criminal records.

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