Corra Daily Planet » 2011 » March

When Sex Offenders Elude Background Checks

Wed, March 30th, 2011 - 5:00 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Sex offenders are not the most welcome employees with most employers.   While some employers we talk to believe that sex offenders should be given a second chance and that consideration for a position should be based on their talents and not their sex offenders, others believe quite the opposite.

Certain  employers believe sex offenders are toxic to the workplace environment.    I tend to agree.   Office morale is often diminished and there is often undue focus placed on the sex offender.   Few want to deal with him, especially if his offenses involve minors, and there is often the risk the offender will suffer physical or psychological injury.   In certain situations, disgruntled employees will resort to workplace violence of find some other way to make the sex offender’s employment experience as miserable as possible.

People may deserve a second chance.  With sex offenders, especially those who have preyed on children, recidivist rates are often significant.    As for whether there is a “cure” or not, I really can’t say.  Some say yes, while others don’t believe there is reliable treatment.

I would also point out that there is a notable difference between, say, a young man who is over eighteen who has sex with his sixteen year old girlfriend, only to discover her parents seek retribution.  In such cases, it may be unfair that he was labeled a sex offender for having consensual sex with a girlfriend a few years younger than he.    Clearly, sex offenses are not all black and white cases.    But many cases are just that, black and white with no real shades of gray.  A child molester should not be afforded the luxury of moral equivalence or ambiguousness.   This is someone who preyed on a child.

We have seen such cases and more like it.   Small wonder that such criminal acts are found repugnant and cause dissonance in the typical workplace environment.   Other employees think, it could have been my kid.  A natural reaction.

I remember one instance where we found a sex offender that had applied for a job with the city.   He was to clean the city parks, an environment frequented by children.  His sex offenses were against minors.   Children, as a matter of fact.   When he  turned up as a registered sex offender in a different state than where he was applying for work, the human resources director asked why he hadn’t divulged this information.   The answer was, ” he was trying to make a new start.”

According to WZVN, an ABC Television affiliate in the Fort Meyers area,  a Collier County Fair worker has been arrested and charged with failing to register as a sex offender in Florida.  His arrest is a consequence of a background check of workers scheduled to staff the event.   There was an outstanding warrant for probation violation as well.   As I noted earlier, sex offenders will move around from state to state to avoid detection.  In the hopes  of find work, and possibly new victims, mobility is an excellent defense mechanism, keeping them free from the ire of their neighbors and former fellow employees.

That is why it is incumbent to conduct a nationwide sex offender background check as part of an employment screening program.   Even if your employment candidate has lived for a significant period of time,  he may be there to evade warrants, charges, or admonitions elsewhere.   I would not go as far to say this is a common practice, but at the same time this practice is not entirely uncommon other.   Better that the employer know up front if its job applicant is a sex offender, before other employees learn it through the grapevine.

Renault Industrial Espionage Case Might Have Hidden Objective

Fri, March 25th, 2011 - 4:15 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Industrial espionage has been on the rise, along with employee theft.   Perhaps it is the bad economy or perhaps the overall loosening of ethics, but more employees, disgruntled and otherwise are stealing valuable proprietary data and attempting to sell it to the competitor.

French automotive giant, Renault, thought it had such a calamity where three of its employees where suspected of stealing sensitive documents related to Renault’s electric car program and selling it off to the highest bidder.   Onerous enough,  for sure.  But now there is some doubt, well more than some doubt, that there is really a case of industrial espionage against the three French employees accused of the crime.    In fact, the three fired managers may be exonerated.   For the record, they have always claimed their innocence.

Both Renault and French prosecutors uncovered little evidence on the three suspected employees.   They failed to find the expected Swiss Bank accounts where the suspects were funneling money.   Prosecutors hoped to find DNA samples on  the stamps used for posting anonymous tip letters.  The stamps, unfortunately, were self-sticking, so no DNA samples.   There is also concern for the missing $350 thousand Renault paid to a private investigator for supposedly discovering information about the alleged Swiss Bank Accounts.

So, what is Renault left with?  A fair share of public embarrassment.   Renault has been accused of pulling the trigger too quickly, before significant evidence could be uncovered.  Senior management may have to resign in the wake of this scandal.    I mentioned the Renault case initially in an article dealing with industrial espionage.  The article was entitled,  Businesses Hurt by Thieving Employees and Increased Industrial Espionage.   In any event, whether there was actual espionage or not, Renault has been seriously dinged by this incident.

In the arcane world of espionage, industrial or national, somethings to objective is not as clear as we would like.   Sometimes the directive is all too obvious, and something there are hidden objectives submerged in the layers of information we tend to take at first value.   What someone wants as the results of disinformation is often not as clear as we would first believe.   Industrial espionage, like any other spying, is based largely in deception.   The instigator seldom wants his competitor to know what he was after and what he got away with.  And sometimes when the discovery of a leak is made,  the operation was designed to elicit that discovery.

In corporate spying, the instigator will often us deceptive practices to cover his tracks.  Or in this case, stealing secrets was not the main objective.   The real objective was to disrupt Renault, cause a shakeup in management.   If this was the case, according to the article in the Wall Street Journal, the perpetrators appear to have succeeded.

Corra Group at Background Screening Conference

Thu, March 24th, 2011 - 5:10 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corra Group has been in attendance of the annual National Association of Professional Background Screeners, in Denver, Colorado.  Known as the NAPBS, the association for background screeners hosts an annual trade show where members can catch up, source no background checking vendors, and attend lectures where they are brought up to date on trends and regulations surrounding employment screening.

The year attendance was strong with many of the vendors and CRA’s at the various functions and on the exhibit floor.   The NAPBS Conference is so that employment screening services may current with all changing employment laws, trends, and activities.

Mayor Bloomberg in D.C. to Push for Background Checks for Gun Control

Wed, March 23rd, 2011 - 5:03 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Not long ago, New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, oversaw a sting operation in New York where undercover investigators purchased firearms from vendors even after informing these vendors they wouldn’t qualify for a background check.    It was a much publicized operation as Mayor Bloomberg had much support from church groups other city legislators and mayors around the country.    There was no doubt, after that sting operation, that buying guns, despite the mandate for background checks was almost as easy as buying gum.

A few months later, another sting operation in the Phoenix, AZ area revealed pretty much the same results.  Vendors would sell you a gun, even if you weren’t eligible as previous criminal records and certified insanity made you ineligible in accordance wit the law.  Disturbing news for some, a reinforcement of the Second Amendment Rights for others.

So now Mayor Bloomberg of New York joined Representative Carolyn McCarthy on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in support of her bill that will attempt to close loopholes that permit criminals, drug abusers and the mentally ill to bypass the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and purchase guns.  I have written about this subject on frequent occasions.  One such article was entitled,  Law Enforcement Asks Congress to Require Background Checks for Gun Buys.   Nevertheless, here we are again.

McCarthy is also attempting to promote legislation that would limit the capacity of magazine clips.  According to the New York Times, McCarthy’s bill lacks support from any Republican legislators.  Bloomberg, meanwhile, is a Republican and is the Co-Chairman for the Committee, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Whether new legislation will take root remains to be seen.

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