NORTH HEMPSTEAD LIFEGUARD WAS SEX OFFENDER
Doctor Washington, a 26 year old who has been registered as a Level 2 sex offender since 2005,had worked as a lifeguard at Manorhaven Park in Port Washington since he was hired in 2003.Washington, of Westbury, was charged with felony third degree rape of a 16 year old girl. Hisconviction in the case on a lesser charge of sexual misconduct, a misdemeanor, several months laterplaced him on the state's registry as a Level 2 sex offender. Town officials said that a convictedsex offender would be precluded from working around children. If the offense were less than afelony, officials said, they would decide on a case-by-case basis whether the employee could workin another capacity and state law precludes them from hiring convicted felons. Washington wasremoved from his lifeguard position about two weeks ago when the town discovered his sex offenderstatus. As a lifeguard, he is exposed to exactly the age of potential victims that he hadvictimized in the first place, said Laura Ahearn, director of Parents for Megan's Law, a StonyBrook advocacy group. Ahearn said her group recommends that towns conduct searches of the state sexoffender registry for all seasonal employees, including lifeguards, and camp counselors.
HOW TOWNS INVESTIGATE
Policies on checking seasonal workers against the state sex offender registry vary from town totown. Seasonal workers include camp counselors, swim instructors, beach attendants, lifeguards andlaborers.
North Hempstead and Hempstead: Checks new employees, including seasonal workers. No review forexisting employees.
Oyster Bay: Checks seasonal employees. No review for existing employees.
Babylon: Checks new parks department hires and reviews them each year they apply foremployment.
Brookhaven: Checks new employees, including seasonal workers, and annually reviews existingemployees.
East Hampton: Does not check seasonal employees. Checks year-round part-times and employees inhuman, family or youth services.
Huntington: Does not check seasonal employees other than those working for state-certifiedcamps.
Islip: Checks seasonal employees who work with or around children and re-screens them eachseason.
Smithtown: Checks some seasonal employees and those workers are periodically reviewed. Thepersonnel director did not return calls but town sources said most seasonal workers are notchecked.
Southampton: Did not return calls for comment.
NEW YORK STATE
Parks Department: Checks new seasonal employees. Unclear whether they annually review.