WASHINGTON - A registered sex offender with access to sensitive information involving kids was hired by the District’s Department of General Services. Now, there are questions as to why he was not properly vetted before he was hired by the city.
In a search of the D.C. Sex Offender Registry, it shows Adam Bryant was convicted of "travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and enticing a child."
According to the Washington City Paper, which first reported the story, Bryant was hired by the Department of General Services in February and was just recently fired once his criminal history surfaced.
The Department of General Services is the hub for other local government agencies such as Fire and EMS, the police department and Parks and Recreation.
"I don’t think we want people convicted of child sex abuse to be in a position either to be dealing with children or have access to sensitive information about teenagers and so on,” said D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3).
District leaders said Bryant's job did not deal directly with kids, but he did have access to sensitive information such as addresses and phone numbers of young children.
When we questioned Mayor Muriel Bowser about Bryant's employment, she said Bryant was not required to go through an extensive background check for the particular position he was hired for. Otherwise, she said he would have been flagged right away.
“There are different levels of background check that go according to a position,” said Bowser. “We have some positions in the government that we call safety sensitive positions. This one wasn’t classified as a safety sensitive position that would get the most robust background [check].”
Cheh, who also oversees the Department of General Services on the council, told FOX 5 this is a wakeup call for the city.
Now the question going forward – is the system itself flawed or does this fall on the people responsible for conducting thorough backgrounds checks?
“The agencies are supposed to identify what they consider their sensitive positions, and then if they are so designated, human resources is supposed to do a criminal background check,” said Cheh. “And then they are supposed to advise the agency what they found about that person and whether the position is a problem or not. I think it kind of did slip through the cracks.”
When we asked Mayor Bowser if they would have ever realized that Bryant is a registered sex offender, she said an employee alerted them and that is when they took precautions.
Some District leaders have questioned just how many other people have "slipped through the cracks" in this case. Although they are not going to go out on a witch hunt on the more than 30,000 employees, they said going forward, they will be more thorough in their hiring practices.