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Three sex offenders fired at state fair

PUYALLUP — Three Level 1 sex offenders have been fired from the Washington State Fair, now in its second week in Puyallup.

The three would have worked closely with children as ride operators.

fairThey apparently didn’t disclose their status when applying for the jobs. One was fired before the fair opened, one was fired over the weekend, and the third was let go on Thursday.

“There’s a lot of children here, so they really need to do background checks,” said Christina Rundell, a mom at the fair with her three young kids.

In fact, it was background checks that alerted fair operators to the three employees who didn’t mention their criminal past on the application.

Two were caught before the fair opened, but one was already working the rides before he was fired.

The offenders didn’t work directly for the fair, but for Funtastic, the vendor that provides the rides. Police are concerned because the company conducts only random background checks, instead of screening all of their hires.

“That’s certainly a place to start as a best practice,” said Puyallup police Capt.  Scott Engle. “Check all your workers who are working rides with children.”

Karen LaFlamme, a spokeswoman for the fair, said Funtastic is considering comprehensive background checks in the future.

“They’re going to continue to look at that and look at other ways and other options to make sure their guests stay safe.”

The fair conducts random background checks on it’s 7,500 employees.

2 comments

  • NYB

    And this was just at random. I was debating on whether or not to go, and this just helped me make up my mind. The fair should conduct back ground checks on all employees, especially those working with children. I'm not going to drop $100 plus dollars on a visit to the fair with this kind of operation.

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