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Census Chief Disputes Estimate on Hires With Criminal Pasts

By Ed O'Keefe

The Post's Carol Morello reports:

The head of the Census Bureau said Tuesday that the number of convicted criminals who were hired to check home addresses this summer is probably fewer than the 200 estimated by the Government Accountability Office.

Robert Groves said the bureau is trying to determine whether it is feasible to require a second security check on job candidates whose fingerprints cannot be read the first time they are run through the FBI database. The bureau is spending $100 million this year checking fingerprints, the first time it has done so for temporary workers.

Last week, the GAO said it estimated that more than 200 temporary employees with unreadable prints may have criminal records that should have disqualified them from being hired.

Groves said people whose prints are hard to decipher tend to be older workers whose ridges have worn down with age, or manual workers whose jobs have made their prints less sharp. The average age of temporary census workers with unreadable prints was 63 for men and 55 for women.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | October 13, 2009; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Census  
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