Grayson Co. revising employee background checks policies

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TEXAS -- Commissioner Jeff Whitmire is leading an initiative to change how the county screens its employees.

"I was told that anybody that works in the county can drive any piece of equipment here, and I didn't think that was a good way of doing business," Whitmire said.

When Whitmire inquired about who performs driving record checks on county employees, he was told that the county's insurance provider carried out the checks.

"Dug a little deeper, found out they're just taking random sampling of all employees, so they may be checking 20 percent of the people every year," Whitmire said.

Whitmire brought his concerns to Commissioners Court Tuesday, suggesting the county perform more standard checks on who's operating county equipment.

"Who's driving our vehicles and are they qualified? Do they have suspended licenses?" Whitmire said.

Whitmire is working with Andrea Mory in the county's HR department to draft a contract with DPS to check employee records.

"We now have in place a government to government agreement which permits DPS to let us access those driving records for our employees, for these purposes, at no cost," Mory said.

But it's not just employee driving records that have been going unchecked.

Some employees aren't vetted with a criminal background check when they're hired.

"That is being updated as well, where we'll be doing criminal background checks on all employees," Whitmire said.

Whitmire says the county's screening process is lacking.

"We're moving forward and we're making the changes so we're going to operate on a more fiscally and liability ways responsible means," Whitmire said.

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