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FILE - In This May 17, 2011, File Photo, A Bus Drives Past The Entrance To New York City’s Largest Jail, The Rikers Island Correctional Facility In New York. A City Investigation Into New York City Jail Hiring Practices Has Found Dozens Of Recently Hired Guards Had Gang Ties, Previous Arrests And Otherwise Checkered Histories. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

City Failed to do Background Checks Rikers Employees

FILE – In this May 17, 2011, file photo, a bus drives past the entrance to New York City’s largest jail, the Rikers Island Correctional facility in New York. A city investigation into New York City jail hiring practices has found dozens of recently hired guards had gang ties, previous arrests and otherwise checkered histories. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

In a stunning blunder, the city’s Department of Correction failed to do criminal background checks on hundreds of health-care workers at Rikers Island since 2008, sources told The Post.

Instead, the beleaguered agency let stacks of fingerprint cards provided by medical contractor Corizon Health pile up on a desk in a human-resources office.

It was the city’s responsibility to process the ink-on-paper fingerprints as part of a deal reached when Corizon first started providing health services to the jails in 2008, sources said.

“The prints they gave Correction clearly should have been processed,” said one source familiar with the snafu.

“They [Corizon officials] were relying on the city to do criminal background checks. The cards sat there in a pile, some of them possibly for as many as seven years.”

The jaw-dropping lapse in security protocol is expected to be detailed in an upcoming report by the commissioner of the Department of Investigation, who has criticized Corizon for its poor vetting of employees.

A few weeks ago, a Corizon clerk was caught bringing a razor into the prison. Only then did a background check show he had a kidnapping rap on his record.

Earlier, a mental-health clinician whose fingerprint card was sitting in the unprocessed pile was caught bringing contraband into the jail system, sources said.

Corizon said it’s the Department of Correction that has been dropping the ball.

“DOC is the entity solely responsible for running criminal background checks on Corizon Health staff at Rikers Island,” the firm, which is currently under a three-year, $126 million contract, said in a statement.

The DOC said it has since done background checks on all Corizon workers.

Remarkably, even after the DOI flagged the fingerprint foul-up, it took Correction another eight months to deal with the backlog.

Sources said the fiasco led DOC Human Resources Director Alan Vengersky, who was responsible for the delay, to retire last year from his $165,000 post.

Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

The city is looking to dump Corizon after its contract expires in December, according to a source.

Read Full Article Here: http://nypost.com/2015/06/06/city-failed-to-do-background-checks-on-hundreds-of-rikers-employees/