After two day-care workers were arrested for assaulting children at a Fort Myer, Va., Army day-care center about three months ago, additional background checks found a few-dozen workers with criminal convictions.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
At least 31 people were fired from two Army day-care centers in Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday.
The escalating scandal surrounding the Fort Myer Child Development Center has triggered a review of hiring procedures, angered defense leaders, and prompted a late-night telephone call Tuesday from President Obama to the Army secretary to express concern and urge a speedy and thorough investigation.
Details of the scandal emerged this week, nearly three months after the arrests of two day-care workers on charges of assaulting children at the Fort Myer center. The slow pace of public revelations enraged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who on Tuesday ordered a worldwide review of hiring practices at all military child-care centers, schools, youth centers, and other facilities that involve children.
According to a defense official, 10 of the 31 dismissed workers were involved in minor criminal offenses, 13 were involved assaults, six were involved in drug use, and two were involved in fourth-degree sexual assault. The official noted that neither person with sexual assault charges ever ended up on a national registry of sex offenders. In some cases, sexual assaults can involve people over the age of 18 who are having consensual relationships with someone under the age of 18.