- Associated Press - Thursday, December 12, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. Census Bureau didn’t follow its guidelines when it hired a registered sex offender in North Carolina last year, raising questions about the agency’s judgment, according to an Inspector General’s report made public Thursday.

Even though the man disclosed his prior arrest, and fingerprint results showed his 2013 conviction for sexual misconduct with a child, a contractor doing the hiring checks never followed up on those red flags, and neither did an investigative supervisor, according to the report from the Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General.

The Census Bureau didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

The man had received five years of probation and was required to register as a sex offender. He was hired as a regional recruiting manager last year and then promoted to be an office manager in Charlotte, North Carolina , at the beginning of this year. He was arrested in March on two sex-related counts involving a child and fired by the bureau two days later.

The bureau supervisor wasn’t doing an adequate job of supervising the contractor, according to the report, which recommends a review of all work decisions made by the two workers and suggests quality-assurance checks on investigative supervisors.

The report comes as the Census Bureau is gearing up to hire as many as a half-million temporary workers for next spring’s once-a-decade count. Most of the workers will be hired to knock on the doors of homes where residents haven’t yet responded to the 2020 Census questionnaire either online, by telephone or by mail.

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