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Carnival workers not covered under Pennsylvania criminal background checks

By: Jo Ciavaglia » 7/6/2015 » Articles, Background Checks, Employee Fraud, Hiring, Safety

Summertime and carnivals go together like cotton candy and kids. Almost every week, a church, community organization or fire department is sponsoring a festival promoted as old-fashioned family fun.

Parents pull out their credit cards and watch as their teens gather and their younger kids run from rides to game booths to food concession stands — many of which are manned by workers hired by the carnival operator.
Yet, Pennsylvania’s tougher state law mandating criminal background checks for employees and many volunteers working with children doesn’t include traveling carnival and concession operators and their employees.
While a growing number of carnival operators and sponsors of local events across the nation are requiring employee background checks on their own due to public safety concerns, some criminals still get jobs.
Take Richard Alan Griffin, 34, of Bryceville, Florida, a ride operator at the Neshaminy Mall Spring Carnival.
Just hours before the kickoff of the carnival’s 10-day run in May, he was arrested for allegedly using his cellphone to film up the skirt of a shopper in the adjacent Bensalem shopping mall.
It wasn’t the first time Griffin, 34, was accused of voyeuristic behavior. The arrest wasn’t his first, either.

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