Sex Offender Case Highlights Need For Background Checks

workforceverification May 22, 2012 0

He worked for a company known for setting up bouncy houses at birthday parties and graduations.

But tonight, Greg Sissala sits behind bars.

He was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender, an arrest that took his employer off guard.

The owner of USA Inflatables says they had no idea Sissala had issues with the law.

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Greg Sissala was convicted of a sex crime in 1995 in Chisago County.

But according to his employer, Kurt Wresh owner of USA Inflatables, he never told him about his past.

Now this small business owner is spreading the word to others about the importance of checking backgrounds of those who work for you.

“It came as a complete shock to us,” said Wresh.

For eleven years, Kurt Wresh has run USA Inflatables, a company known for providing bouncy houses, slides and other fun inflatables for parties.

The company has 20 employees, and Wresh admits the majority of the time they don’t do extensive background checks.

“We do a driver’s license background check, we do a DOT background check, a drug test when they get hired, but unfortunately we had no idea what happened with this employee,” said Wresh.

Wresh says he was caught off guard when one of his employees was arrested by Osseo police and transferred to the Hennepin County Jail for failure to report as a sex offender.

“As soon as we found out he was obviously terminated. We haven’t talked to him, he is in jail still,” said Wresh.

Wresh says when Sissala was hired, he was asked about his background, but said nothing about his criminal history.

“This is a pile of what Greg would have worked on,” said Wresh.

Wresh says Sissala worked summer months and his arrest had nothing to do with his employment at USA Inflatables.

“His work consists of being around the warehouse, not in any public function at all, so he was never around kids,” said Wresh.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Department says Sissala has an extensive criminal history, and this is not the first time he’s violated conditions of his release by failing to register.

This time, investigators will present a case to the county attorney for possible charges and more jail time for Sissala.

Wresh says this ordeal has led to a new policy at USA Inflatables.

“Starting today, we background checked all 20 of our employees,” said Wresh.

Wresh says all small business owners should know there are free websites, like mncourt.gov
and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s public criminal history page that can help them check backgrounds of potential employees.

That’s something Wresh just learned today.


Source : minnesota

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