AP NEWS

Military fails to disclose criminal convictions to FBI

December 11, 2017

DALLAS (AP) — A recent lapse by the U.S. Army to disclose a Texas veteran’s criminal record to the FBI is the latest example of the military failing to document criminal convictions, according to a newspaper’s review.

Former Army 1st Sgt. Gregory McQueen pleaded guilty two years ago to more than a dozen military charges for attempting to run a prostitution ring in Fort Hood. But the conviction didn’t show up in a state background check when a foster-care agency hired McQueen in March to care for abused and neglected children, the Dallas Morning News reported .

The Army later acknowledged it failed to submit information about McQueen’s criminal record to an FBI database widely used for background checks. State officials said McQueen’s record should have kept him out of the foster-care program.

Dozens of Texas agencies rely on FBI criminal history data when hiring for skilled occupations such as police officers, lawyers, doctors and even foster-care parents.

“Background checks are important tools to help screen for potential issues,” said Christine Mann, spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. “When it comes to vetting potential foster parents, it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure that criminal databases contain the most complete, accurate and up-to-date information.”

The military’s reporting failures recently drew attention after former airman Devin Kelley fatally shot more than a dozen people in Sutherland Springs. The Air Force admitted to not disclosing his 2012 domestic violence conviction, which should have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms.

Civilian law enforcement and court agencies upload criminal convictions to two criminal databases kept by the federal government. One database is used by gun sellers. The second database is called the National Crime Information and is widely used for workplace licensing and background checks.

The Army said McQueen’s conviction showed up in the database used by gun sellers but not the workplace database. The contractor that hired McQueen “delisted” him three months after discovering his convictions.

McQueen could not be reached for comment.

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

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