Oversight Hearing Called For After Report Reveals Sex Offenders Were Granted State Licenses

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The chairs of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure want an oversight hearing and an "immediate and thorough investigation" into how sex offenders were able to obtain state licenses to work in various trades and professions.

Sen. Paul Feeney and Rep. Tackey Chan issued a joint statement on Monday afternoon, responding to a Boston Globe report that found 68 registered sex offenders held state licenses, including 21 electricians, and that officials at the Division of Professional Licensure had failed to check applicants against the sex offender registry from August 2016 through May 2019 because of what the division described a technical glitch.

Chan and Feeney called the report "deeply concerning" and said the reported firing of an employee who "stepped forward to bring this to light" raises additional questions about the division.

"As the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, we are asking the administration for an immediate and thorough investigation," Feeney and Chan said. "We are also calling for our committee to convene an oversight hearing as soon as possible. The central tenet of professional licensing is to protect the public above all else. The residents of the Commonwealth deserve to know whether or not the Department is living up to that basic standard."