Three Level 1 sex offenders fired as ride operators from Washington State Fair

Staff writerSeptember 12, 2013 

Three sex offenders have been fired from jobs operating rides at the Washington State Fair when their employer learned of the past crimes, police and fair officials said Thursday.

All three were Level 1 offenders, the least likely to reoffend, Puyallup police spokesman Scott Engle said.

One was fired before the fair began, one over the weekend and another Thursday, he said.

They were employed by Funtastic, a company that has contracted with the fair for decades to provide rides, and didn’t disclose their status when applying for the jobs, Engle said.

Police would like to see the company check the sex offender status of all employees, instead of the random background checks it currently does, Engle added.

“Since all of their employees have contact with children,” he said.

Officials learned about the offenders in various ways, he said.

One worker registered the job with the appropriate sheriff’s department, as required, and local authorities were notified.

Engle and fair spokeswoman Karen LaFlamme, who said Funtastic also asks her to serve as their spokesperson, both estimated the three offenders fired is on par with most years.

“Up until a few years ago, background checks weren’t as common as they are now,” she said. “We have a very close working relationship with Funtastic. We’ve always kept that dialogue going, and we’re definitely going to be discussing this.”

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