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Delaware agency continues to employ convicted child molester

September 6, 2018

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A convicted child molester’s employment with Delaware’s environmental protection agency has created controversy again.

The News Journal reports 89-year-old Gene Pettingill has remained in his job with the state Natural Resources and Environmental Control department despite pleading guilty in 2008 to repeatedly forcing a 7-year-old to touch his genitals.

After his conviction the department gave him an unpaid leave of absence to serve his three-month jail term. It also retained him during his three years of probation.

A woman whose name the newspaper is withholding to protect her child says she took her 10-year-old daughter to a July public hearing where Pettingill spoke on the department’s behalf. She is among those saying they are angry to discover that the oldest state employee is a registered sex offender.

Pettingill declined to comment Wednesday.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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