Felony Fugitive Working at DHS

Nick Fishman

The Department of Homeland Security is under fire again for their employment screening efforts (or lack thereof) after it was discovered that one of their employees was a felony fugitive.  In their defense, the individual did undergo a background check at the time of her hiring and the offense occurred after that time.  What I find unusual is their practice of re-screening employees after 10 years of employment.  To be be fair, some employers never conduct recurring or regular background checks on employees to see if they have been involved in criminal activity since the time of their hiring.  However, you would think that DHS would have the strictest policies when it came to monitoring their employees.

This is embarrassing for them to say the least.  Especially when you consider that in 2006  their deputy press secretary was arrested and eventually plead guilty to charges that he had inappropriate sexual  conversations online with minors.

Check out the full story below from the The Register.

Red-faced bosses from the Department of Homeland Security are trying to explain how they failed to know that one of their employees had been a wanted fugitive for more than two years.

According to numerous news reports, Tahaya Buchanan was hired by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1995 and eventually came to work in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Atlanta in 2007 following an agency reorganization.

That same year, the 39-year-old was indicted on a charge of second-degree insurance fraud on allegations she staged the theft of her Range Rover SUV. In January 2008, a warrant for her arrest was entered into the the National Crime Information Center system, and in July of this year, Buchanan was arrested by a traffic officer and spent a week in a Georgia jail.

And yet it wasn’t until Tuesday that immigration officials discovered Buchanan had been a known fugitive.

A spokesman for the immigration service said background checks are conducted on employees before they are hired and criminal history checks are performed every 10 years. Buchanan’s most recent check was conducted in 2005, before charges were brought. Agency employees are also required to report any contact they have with law enforcement officers, the spokesman said.

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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