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Defense Dept. To Issue Background Checks On Employees With Children

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Defense Sec. Leon Panetta is giving his department until Jan. 21 to review background checks on all Defense employees who have contact with children.

Background checks at the Fort Myer facilities were triggered by the arrests of two daycare workers in September. They were charged with multiple counts of assault on children. As officials scrutinized the backgrounds of other employees, they found a range of criminal convictions, which led to the suspension of at least 31 people.

In his memo this week, Sec. Panetta gave his department the Jan. 21 deadline to review background checks on all employees who have contact with children, and to deliver a written report on the findings. The memo says all segments of the department must ensure that background check procedures are being followed and that each document meets Pentagon requirements.

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