Audit Shows Flawed Background Info

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A state agency for four years released flawed background check information to companies on job applicants,
saying some people were convicted of minor crimes that shouldn't have disqualified them from employment, according to a legislative

The Department of Public Safety's Records and Technology Division from July 2003 to October 2007 used the wrong criteria in doing thousands of background checks, auditors reported Wednesday. Gambling-related companies, in particular, request the state background checks.

The agency used a list of crimes not found in state laws to find that some applicants shouldn't be hired. The list, which included misdemeanor DUIs and other minor crimes, was in a bill considered but not approved by the 2003 Legislature.

When auditors informed the agency of its error a year ago, the list was corrected, according to the audit disclosed at a meeting of the Legislature's Audit Subcommittee.

Subcommittee members questioned whether any people who should have been hired were denied jobs, and also wondered whether the state had been sued by angry applicants.

Capt. Phil O'Neill, who runs the division, said he didn't know of anyone who lost a job over the mistake, adding they might not have been hired for other reasons.

But in response to questions from Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, O'Neill admitted only employers got the background checks and applicants might not have been aware why they did not get jobs.

"That may be why you weren't sued," Leslie said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)