Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Commission explores using E-Verify program to screen future Hernando County employees

BROOKSVILLE — To ensure that future county employees are legal U.S. residents, the County Commission on Tuesday decided to explore a new employment verification tool called E-Verify, offered through the federal government.

Francine Hill of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security explained how the electronic system, which is based on information shared between her agency and the Social Security Administration, would in most cases be able to tell the county almost immediately if a new employee was eligible to work.

The county's purchasing and human resource directors voiced concern that adopting the new system could cost more because someone would have to be responsible for making the special checks. Commission Chairman John Druzbick said he wanted more information on that before a formal vote.

Commissioner Jeff Stabins was concerned that the system of checking an employee's eligibility seemed like more of a labor issue than a homeland security issue and he questioned what the county should do about employees not cleared for employment.

"I don't see a logical connection here,'' he said. "Do you compare them to the (terrorist) watch list?''

Hill explained the system was only designed to verify employment eligibility, not give the immigration status of an individual.

Commissioner Dave Russell questioned whether the program wasn't repeating processes Hernando already does through other forms new employees must complete.

Stabins said something seemed missing from the process.

"It seems to me this program is a typical Washington Band-Aid solution to a problem that requires a tourniquet,'' he said.

Commissioners could not vote on the E-Verify system Tuesday because the meeting was a workshop. But after hearing from Hillsborough County human resources director George Williams, they said they were interested in finding out more about E-Verify.

In Hillsborough, Williams said, the county has gone through additional steps for a more detailed program to become "IMAGE certified." That expanded arrangement partners the county with the law enforcement aspect of Homeland Security to deal with potential workers who are not accepted as employment eligible.

Williams warned that implementation of the expanded program was complex, but he said he had been driven to make the program work because he didn't want to see a terrorist foul Hillsborough's water supply because the county hadn't done enough to screen its workers.

"Not on my watch,'' he told commissioners.

Hernando commissioners also were interested in using whatever tools Hillsborough might be devising to make sure county employees as well as county vendors verify employability.

Hernando County Administrator David Hamilton promised to work with Hillsborough County officials and the E-Verify program to bring back more information to commissioners for further discussion at their April workshop.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Commission explores using E-Verify program to screen future Hernando County employees 03/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 6:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Restaurant review: Deccan Spice in Feather Sound is a gateway to the allures of Indian cuisine

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER

    Feather Sound's Tru Lounge, which was Flo Lounge before that, morphed into Grand Siam in 2012, a giant Thai restaurant owned by the folks who had Ban Thai restaurants in Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon and Lakeland. It was lavish with dramatic fluted chandeliers and a long, polished wood sushi bar, but it …

    Some of the selections at a recent lunch buffet at Deccan Spice included chicken biryani, gobi masala and murgh masala.
  2. Gov. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend' Jimmy Patronis as state chief financial officer

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed a long-time friend and political supporter, Jimmy Patronis, to replace Jeff Atwater as Florida's next chief financial officer, making him one of three members of the Cabinet that sets state policy on a …

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO
  3. Officially official: Malik Zaire, Jake Fruhmorgen join Florida Gators

    Blogs

    It's finally, officially official: Malik Zaire has joined the Florida Gators.

  4. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Nation

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  5. June 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series.