Sheriff seeks more info in state child-care probe

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— The four felons who were working for child-care providers in Routt County were convicted of crimes that ranged from drug violations to assault, Routt County Sheriff John Warner said.

On Thursday, Warner revealed that the four felons who were identified by a study conducted earlier this year by the Colorado Department of Human Services had been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs, assault, indecent exposure and possession of a dangerous drug.

Warner verified Thursday morning that the names of felons he received from the state agency earlier this week are no longer working in child-care after he checked with the county's social services office, he said.

"I can assure everyone that these four are not working at day-care facilities in the county," he said.

Warner is not identifying the names of the four felons at this point because of limited information he received from the state's office of Human Services.

"The information they provided me is not complete," he said.

In a fax the state agency sent to Warner, the sheriff was given a name, the charge and the facility where the person worked.

Warner said he was disturbed he was not given the person's date of birth, social security number and the date the person was convicted of the crime.

Warner said he does not want to release the names of the four individuals he received until he can verify the information is correct.

"How do we know these are the right people if they did not use dates of birth or social security numbers?" he asked.

Warner was infuriated when he found out last week that the state agency had done a study and did not report the results of the study to him earlier.

The Colorado Department of Human Resources identified 65 child-care providers that had criminal records in Routt, Yuma and Adams counties.

The study conducted spot checks of 477 child-care providers in the three counties.

Oxana Golden, director of Child Care Services for the state Department of Human Services, released the information Dec. 5 to the state's Legislative Audit Committee.

Warner met with Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann Thursday to discuss the possibility of violations of state statute, he said.

State law requires any person who knows or suspects a child being subjected to "circumstances or conditions which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect" to immediately report it to the county.

If a convicted felon is working in child care, those conditions could result in abuse or neglect, he said.

"(The District Attorney's Office) would like more information before they proceed with filing any criminal charges," Warner said of his meeting with Feldmann.

Warner said he is frustrated with the way the Colorado Department of Human Services has responded to his request for information about the study.

"It feels like I'm pulling teeth," he said. "It should not have to be that way."

Warner requested the state agency provide him with the information pertaining to Routt County Dec. 6. He received it Tuesday.

The results of the study showed that Colorado Bureau of Investigation background reports overlooked eight felons who were working as child-care providers in the three counties.

With the CBI background checks, 33 people accumulating 80 felony charges were hired by child-care agencies between September 1999 and June 2000.

Twenty-five of those people had 63 "serious" offenses, according to the study.

Warner did not receive the information as soon as he would have liked because the names of the felons were not readily available, Golden said.

The study did not include individual names and they had to reconstruct the data to find out that information, she said.

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