Moreau discusses background checks after firing sex offender - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Moreau discusses background checks after firing sex offender

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MOREAU, N.Y. - The Moreau Town Board made no excuses Tuesday night for hiring of Robert Roberts, a level two sex offender as a part time employee.

Roberts worked in the town's recreational park two days out of the week for about ten hours.

"We know we have to fix things and we're going to do that," Town Supervisor Preston Jenkins said.

During the meeting, Jenkins said 57-year-old Roberts lied on his application indicating he had no criminal record.

"He worked with another person in the middle of the day during the week when no one was there," Jenkins said. "So no one was in danger, but it was a bad situation. We realize that and we're not going to let it happen again."

The town discussed new policies it plans to set forth, like conducting background checks on all new hires and current employees who are part time and full time. Jenkins said part time employees usually didn't go through a background check because the town wanted to cut down on costs.

"It's unacceptable that we went ahead and did this,"Council Member Todd Kusnierz said. "You can't put a price on the safety of our children, that is a non-issue right now."

All five board members heard from concerned mothers with children who play in the park.

"This is what we as parents have to deal with, it's our reality," one mother said during the meeting. "This should have not been an oversight."

Jenkins said that although there was not a formal policy written up yet, an informal process for background checks was already underway for potential applicants looking to fill the vacant spot left by Roberts.

The town says they have already looked into applicants, checking to see if they are on the registry for sex offenders. Roberts is currently in Washington County jail. The town supervisor said they may consider pressing perjury charges against him.

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