As I noted in the June 14 Turner Report, Robin Deardorff, who was indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud and identity theft charges worked at the Department of Social Services right up until June 11, despite a long record of brushes with the law. Questions about Ms. Deardorff's employment were asked by the media, but this explanation offered to the Associated Press was apparently allowed to stand without further examination:
A spokeswoman for the Social Services Department would not say whether Robin Deardorff had left voluntarily. Spokeswoman Sara Anderson said background checks are performed on all employees, but those who don't have direct contact with the public are not screened until after they have been hired.
Anderson said it generally takes a month for background checks for employees who don't have direct contact and eight to 12 weeks for employees who do.
It only took me five minutes to find enough information on case.net to indicate Mrs. Deardorff should never have been hired for the position, the kind of check that state bureaucrats apparently do not bother to make:
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.
It would not have taken long for a background check to uncover the news that Mrs. Deardorff's husband (and co-defendant) Clayton Deardorff, is an unwilling guest in a Missouri state penitentiary.
I conducted a case.net check on Mrs. Deardorff's maiden name, Robin Sidney, and found more information that should have prevented her from ever being the recipient of taxpayer money:
On July 13, 1995, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stealing charges and was placed on supervised probation for two years. This was the second time she had pleaded guilty to a stealing charge.
Instead of taking potshots at each other perhaps, Matt Blunt and Jay Nixon need to investigate how Robin Deardorff ever came to work for the state and find out just what procedures our state departments and agencies use when investigating potential employees.
No one should ever work in a place of trust without having to undergo at least a cursory background check.
Where has the media been on this case. Are our reporters simply content to base its government coverage on news releases?