Posted on August 29, 2012 at 11:25 PM
MONROE, Wash. -- A woman who is a co-defendant in a pornography case in Snohomish County was able to get a job as a ride operator at the Evergreen State Fair. An anonymous tip alerted authorities that Caitlin Ferry was working in Kiddie Land at the fair.
Ferry had been arrested and charged this year, accused of child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor. She was released from jail on bond. When Snohomish County Sheriff's deputies learned that Ferry was working at the fair, they arrested her.
"A condition of her release was she was not to be around children," said Lt. Rodney Rochon, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
Ferry was booked into the Snohomish County Jail, and she is expected to go before a judge Thursday.
Her arrest is upsetting for some parents who were at the fair.
"I think it is horrible. I think there shouldn't be people involved in that around my children," said one mother.
Fair manager Hal Gausman confirmed that background checks are conducted for the hundreds hired to work at the fair. Snohomish County makes some of the hires, and private companies fill positions to operate the rides and food booths.
So how did Ferry get a job? County spokesperson Christopher Schwarzen called it, "a flaw in the background check system."
"This would not have shown up because the background checks show convictions," said Lt. Rochon.
Background checks noting convictions only would not have caught the charges against Ferry who is still awaiting trial.
That surprised Gausman who said, " we really want the public to be very confident that we can close this button hole."
A company called Butler is handling the carnival rides and hired Ferry, according to Gausman. County officials have already had conversations on how the improve the background check system. They plan to hold what's called an action review after the fair to take a closer look at the issue.
Ferry is a co-defendant in a case that also names Enrique Sanchez-Leon. A trial was expected to begin in October.