Stanley McGinity was barred from working at a dependent-care site.
For at least three years, a Des Moines veterans hospital employed a registered sex offender who was legally barred from working there.
The worker was one of at least two sex offenders working at the hospital this past summer. One of the men, Stanley McGinity, 46, of Knoxville, has two convictions for lascivious acts with a child dating back to 2007.
In 2010, McGinity applied for a job at the Des Moines hospital run by VA Central Iowa Health Care System.
He disclosed his past convictions on his written application, along with his 20 years of service in the National Guard. He was then hired as a housekeeping aide.
“I’m a veteran, and so when I applied for the job they said everything should be OK, and then they hired me,” McGinity told The Des Moines Register.
After 36 months on the job, he was fired in September when hospital administrators learned that as an Iowa sex offender McGinity couldn’t legally work at a care facility for dependent adults. His parole officer informed him that if he showed up again for work, he’d be arrested.
At McGinity’s recent unemployment benefits hearing, Greg Smith, the hospital’s human resources director, testified that until this summer he hadn’t known of the state law that bars some sex offenders from working at the facility.
“He was the first person like this I had ever hired, so I wasn’t familiar with those kinds of restrictions or that they even existed,” Smith testified.
He said that in June or July, the hospital had some unspecified “issues” with another sex offender who worked for VA Central Iowa Health Care System. He said that prompted him to contact McGinity’s parole officer, who told him of the work restrictions on sex offenders.
During a contentious exchange with Administrative Law Judge Teresa Hillary, Smith faulted McGinity for failing to disclose his employment restrictions.
“When you find out that someone you are potentially going to hire has a conviction for sex offending, don’t you think it’s your job to go through and see if they are eligible to work at your facility?” Hillary asked.
“That’s why I called his parole officer at that time, and he didn’t reveal that to me, either,” Smith testified.
“Well, how come you didn’t go find it out?” Hillary asked.
“I don’t have an answer for that,” Smith said.
As part of the hearing, McGinity submitted documents in which he said the hospital, the PolkCounty sheriff’s office and 5th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services were all aware of his employment at the hospital and it had never been an issue. He said his two parole officers — Troy Jones and Sara Nelson — also knew where he worked and never made an issue of it.
Dwayne Rider, public affairs officer for the hospital, did not respond when asked about the other sex offender Smith referred to in his testimony and the number of sex offenders, if any, currently working at the hospital. When asked about the hospital’s job-applicant background checks, he referred the Register to the website of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Judge Hillary rejected McGinity’s claim for unemployment benefits, saying it was his responsibility to inform his employer of the work restrictions and it was not the Department of Veterans Affairs’ “responsibility to catch him.”
McGinity said he plans to appeal that decision to the Iowa Employment Appeals Board.