The state of Colorado, under Gov. John Hickenlooper, has made the “Corruption Chronicles” assembled by government watchdog Judicial Watch with its latest government “reorganization” that shifted some state employees – some making up to six figures – from one department to another.
The workers failed to pass the required criminal background checks for the state Department of Public Safety, into which a couple of previously independent programs were folded.
“Here is an amusing story from Colorado: state officials are working hard to help relocate longtime employees who didn’t pass background checks but got hired anyways, evidently by public agencies with low standards,” said the Chronicles.
“Some failed the criminal background checks and lie detector tests and others simply refused to take them,” the Chronicles reported. “Sticking to its high standards of hiring only folks with clean records, the Department of Public Safety won’t add them to the payroll but that doesn’t mean the offenders will lose their cushy taxpayer-funded jobs.”
The report said the salaries for the individuals ranged from $35,000 a year up to $104,445.
The report said a spokeswoman from the state Department of Personnel and Administration admitted some of the workers sat at home collecting paychecks because they couldn’t report for their new responsibilities in the division run by James Davis, having failed the background checks.
The situation was documented in the Denver Post.
The report said the state now is trying to find permanent jobs for those employees, who originally were hired for various agencies such as the firefighting division of the state Forest Service, the Division of Emergency Management, the Port of Entry and Homeland Security.
A spokesman for the Public Safety division, Lance Clem, told the Post the security screens aren’t that unusual.
“What they are looking for is anything that indicates illegal behavior. It’s up to the hiring authority to decide whether that illegal behavior knocks somebody out of the process.”
It was Jennifer Okes of the Personnel and Administration office who said most of the workers are in temporary positions with the state now.
This is what government is doing wrong and needs to correct, said the state House Speaker, Frank McNulty, in the Post report.
“This is exactly why people are so frustrated with government,” he said. “Nobody else in Colorado is sitting home collecting a paycheck.”