Interior Dept Hired A Registered Sex Offender Who Kept Getting Arrested And Didn’t Tell Anyone

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The Department of the Interior (DOI) hired a registered sex offender who hid the fact he was arrested three more times and convicted of two domestic violence felonies while working for the government, according to an investigation.

“Our investigation confirmed that the employee is a convicted felon, is a registered sex offender and is currently on probation with the State of Colorado,” DOI’s inspector general (IG) wrote in a short summary of an investigation into a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee.

BLM hired the male employee, who is not named, in 2011, and he had not been on probation for a past crime since 2003. The employee disclosed his felony conviction to DOI officials when he was hired, and the agency “knew of the employee’s criminal history when they hired him and had adjudicated his background as ‘favorable’ after mitigating his criminal history based on the time elapsed since his conviction.”

But investigators began looking into the employee sometime after he was hired based on a complaint he was “convicted of additional crimes while employed by BLM and was currently on probation.”

It turns out the BLM employee “had been arrested three more times since he began employment with BLM” and did not disclose those arrests “or his subsequent two convictions for a domestic violence-related felony criminal trespass and for violation of a court protective order” to DOI officials.

The employee was also on probation while working for taxpayers. The IG “found that the employee had not discussed his current probation status with BLM.”

Despite not telling the government he was on probation and had been arrested multiple times, the IG’s office didn’t bring the matter to the U.S. attorney for prosecution “[a]s there were no identifiable violations of criminal statutes.”

This isn’t the first time DOI has struggled with unsavory employees.

In June, Interior investigators published a report detailing cases of sexual harassment against a law enforcement official and two other female agency employees.

In October, investigators found that a law enforcement supervisor at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Georgia touched an employee on her upper thigh. That same supervisor was also accused of inappropriately touching another National Parks Service employee transferred from another park.

A House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing in June highlighted more than 20 complaints of sexual harassment made by Interior employees at Grand Canyon River District and Canaveral National Seashore. No one was fired.

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