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More L.A. county workers to undergo criminal background checks

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina in 2011. Credit: Irfan Kahn / Los Angeles TimesWhile new Los Angeles County employees are already required to pass a Live Scan security screen, officials this week ordered a change after complaining that large swaths of veteran and other workers remain untested.

“I found out that we’re still not requiring or mandating a criminal background check on our social workers at children’s services,” said County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

“We need to begin Live Scanning all of these employees,” she said.

Molina authored the measure, approved in a 5-0 vote, instructing the Department of Children and Family Services to immediately begin testing all unscreened employees who have contact with children.

She also wants a plan for how to implement more screening in other county departments.

Current practice is for new county employees, those transferring to other departments and those who receive promotions to undergo Live Scans, which electronically cross-check fingerprints and other personal data against Department of Justice criminal records. But that still leaves about 35% of employees unscreened, according to Molina’s motion.

Within the family services department, more than 1,900 of about 7,300 employees have not undergone scans, said Molina spokeswoman Roxane Marquez. Department officials said 1,300 of those have contact with children.

“We feel that staff who work directly with some of our most vulnerable kids should be subject to this kind of screening,” Marquez said.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz at the Hall of Administration

Photo: Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina in 2011. Credit: Irfan Kahn / Los Angeles Times

 
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