The only problem with the coverage that Watson and other state reporters have offered on this ongoing saga is that it's not the story that we need to look at. With the damage that can be done by identity theft in this day and age, it is more important than ever that our state agencies take every precaution to make sure they hire high quality workers.
As The Turner Report has shown over the past two days, that care was obviously not exercised in the Department of Social Services' hiring of Robin Deardorff, Jefferson City, one of seven indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud and identity theft.
A spokeswoman for Social Services said late last week that it took a month to do background checks for some positions in her department and up to three months for others.
It took less than five minutes for me, using only the easily available Case.net to find enough information to prevent Robin Deardorff from ever being hired by the Department of Social Services:
A simple check of case.net shows eight listings for Mrs. Deardorff, including seven criminal charges. The oldest charge, dating back to 1993, was for misdemeanor stealing, for which she received five days in jail and was placed on probation.
Two years later, Mrs. Deardorff received 30 days in jail for endangering the welfare of a child, not exactly the type of activity that seems in keeping with the Family Support Division of the Department of Social Services.
The remainder of the criminal charges involve annual charges of driving while revoked from 2003 through 2006, with the last three times involving the use of electronic shackles in lieu of jail time.
In 2005, she also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of passing a bad check.
As I wrote in a post yesterday, another check of case.net, searching for Mrs. Deardorff under her maiden name, Robin Sidney, showed yet another conviction for misdemeanor stealing.
Is it too much to ask state officials to take five minutes to check the background of someone who may have access to sensitive information?