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Anger over hiring of rapist at county health center

Antonovich calls for investigation

Posted: February 5, 2009 11:26 p.m.
Updated: February 6, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich wants some accountability for rehiring a convicted rapist who worked as an x-ray technician at Roybal Comprehensive Health Center.

Antonovich ordered a report on employee criminal background checks.

"It is unconscionable that the county's hiring protocol allowed this rapist to slip through the cracks and get rehired at a county medical facility," said Antonovich, whose district includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

The investigation and report Antonovich called for must ensure that criminal background checks are administered for all employees including those hired through registries or other contractors who do business with the county.

"County staff who knowingly approve hiring without criminal background checks - in direct violation of the procedures adopted by the Board of Supervisors - are jeopardizing the public's safety and should be fired," he said.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved his motion directing the chief executive officer to report at the Feb. 10 board meeting on the actions taken to correct deficiencies on employee criminal background checks - as requested in a previous board motion.

The board approved a motion in October in which Antonovich directed the CEO to evaluate cases where the Department of Health Services failed to follow hiring procedures for applicants with criminal backgrounds.

Antonovich was responding to media reports that a convicted rapist was working as an x-ray technician at the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center and at the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center.

"In direct violation of the procedures adopted by the Board of Supervisors, County staff failed to prevent criminals from working closely with the public," he said.


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