LETTER: Why is Burien using a convicted felon to do animal enforcement?
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]
Letter to the Editor:
Why is Burien using a violent, convicted felon to do animal enforcement law in Burien? Why is Burien using the CARES contractor who provided false information about their employee still being employed by the city?
Honesty is the most important attribute in any city government. And it extends to all contractors who work for city government as well, especially those who work in Burien law enforcement. Recently, a very disturbing public records disclosure from the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), points out that the city contractor CARES, responsible for Burien’s animal control services, appears to have been dishonest in its dealings with the Washington Animal Control Association (WACA) and with a state animal control officer training program (CJTC). I discovered the following;
- CARES submitted a criminal background check required to take Animal Control Officer training, signed by the CARES Director, stating that an employee had passed such a check, when actually, the employee was convicted of two violent felonies in the city, making him ineligible to take the Animal Control Officer training. CARES still hired this employee, had his training paid by Burien, and contimued to keep him under contract as an animal law enforcement officer even after CARES was informed of his violent criminal history. Other national, state, county and local law enforcement agencies to not hire, retain or allow convicted felons to do law enforcement.
- It also appears that CARES, in June, 2016, then did not inform the Burien City Council that the same employee, who appears to have illegally participated in the Animal Control Officer training, had had his certification revoked as a result of discovering his criminal background. Both WACA and CJTC(Sue Rahr) have confirmed the details of this.
This CARES Animal Control Officer, who is really a Burien animal law enforcement officer, was charged and pled guilty to attempted robbery and criminal assault at a Burien auto parts store (previous to his employment at CARES) when he attacked people in the store with an ax, as he was attempting to steal a car alternator. Police were called, he needed to be restrained and eventually pled guilty to the crimes. This easily can be verified by an internet search of the B-Town Blog and the Seattle Times by the employee’s name.
As a result of this new information, it appears that CARES has been out of compliance for several years with the Burien CARES contract. It also appears that the CARES Director never informed the recently city-hired CARES auditor of this history or the revoked certification. As recently as June, 2016, the CARES Director provided documents and testimony to the Burien City Council and the public that she has two Animal Control (WACA) certified staff members working for CARES.
Contractors who do not tell the truth to the city, the citizens and the council should not have a city contract.
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