Following the arrest of Department of Children & Families (DCF) spokesman Al Zimmerman on child pornography charges, the DCF inspector general launched a review of the department’s hiring procedures.
A report on the results revealed serious security gaps. In 8% of cases, DCF failed to fingerprint employees; in 10%, it failed to verify references. The inspector general could find no Florida employment application on file at all in 1.4% of cases.
Zimmerman was arrested on suspicion that he paid two 16-year-old boys to pose nude and then sold the photos overseas. The department later discovered he had a record of prior arrests.
“It is of concern that the department cannot readily determine whether adequate background checks have been completed on employees that provide direct services to children,” the report stated.
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