[Guest post by DRJ]
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is unhappy because the Census Bureau apparently hired criminals to collect personal information:
“After two cases of alleged criminals going door-to-door to take surveys, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said Monday that the U.S. Census Bureau must do more to prevent hiring census takers with a criminal background.
In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke sent Monday, Shelby wrote that when he asked Locke during a Senate hearing last year about guidelines to disqualify applicants, including sex offenders and people who’ve committed crimes against children, he was told the measures would ensure “each applicant is an acceptable risk to collect census information from residents of a community as a representative of our government.”
“It is inconceivable that the Census Bureau could be so poorly managed as to hire a convicted sex offender to go door-to-door to collect personal information,” Shelby said. “Clearly, Mr. Secretary, your guidelines are not working.”
Census officials claim the system is working, albeit a little slowly:
“Frank Kuni reportedly had used fake documents under the name Jamie Shephard to pass an initial name check and receive four days of training.
But an alert resident recognized the 47-year-old from the state’s Internet sex offender registry.
Kuni, who was charged with using a fraudulent document to get government ID, was fingerprinted during his first day of training but when Census officials learned on the last day of training that Kuni had been flagged for a previous arrest, he was already out the door with his assignment, Fernando E. Armstrong, director of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region, told the Courier News.
He was arrested four days later.
“From our perspective, the process that was put in place and has been used across the country worked in this case,” Armstrong told the newspaper, acknowledging that an earlier return of the background check would’ve prevented Kuni from reaching the street.”
They must think we’re idiots because that makes no sense.