Woodhaven – Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Glendale) is building support among his Assembly colleagues for creating a law which makes it illegal for employers to hire registered sex offenders for jobs that involve being close to children. The legislation was created in response to a recent discovery of a former sex offender running a karate school in Glendale.
The situation erupted when it was discovered that a registered sex offender was teaching karate classes at Gem Shotokan Karate located near the intersection of Myrtle and Cooper Avenues. The offender, Edwin Rodriguez, was arrested nine years ago for molesting an 11 year old girl.
Recently, a bill was introduced in the State Senate making it illegal for sex offenders to seek employment in fields that put them in close contact with children. Assemblyman Miller applauded the bill but believes more needed to be done.
“The Senate bill has good intentions” Assemblyman Miller said, “but it creates a loophole. People could continue hiring registered sex offenders and there would be no way of knowing about it or enforcing it. We already do background checks for teachers; why not do background checks for every profession that puts someone in close contact with children? This is a matter of common sense”
Miller’s bill, A10010, proposes that employers hiring new staff who will be in close contact with children must check their name against the New York State Sex Offender Registry and the Statewide Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment or face a penalty. “It is unacceptable to have someone who has committed such monstrous acts working with our children” Assemblyman Miller said. “This isn’t the first bill to protect our children from sex offenders but I think it’s the best bill. This proposal will hold employers accountable with the hope of making it impossible for sex offenders to work with our children.”