DIA to dismiss four with felony convictions

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DENVER (AP) Four felons working at Denver International Airport will not face prosecution because they voluntarily disclosed their convictions by a federal amnesty deadline Monday, but they will lose their jobs.
The convictions disqualify them from receiving security badges necessary to work at the airport.
Airport officials did not say how many employees for airlines, concessionaires, contractors or rental car companies had voluntarily disclosed convictions.
Airport workers could lose their jobs and face prosecution if fingerprint checks conducted throughout the year reveal they hid a conviction for one of 36 felonies including burglary, theft, fraud or willful destruction of property.
The employees with convictions were hired before airport officials were allowed to conduct criminal background checks on potential workers. Before, they could only check employee histories. The new law took effect Jan. 1.
''We have advocated for it since 1996,'' said Amy Bourgeron, deputy manager of aviation at the airport. ''It has been easy for someone with a disqualifying felony to hide behind the protection of federal laws.''
Bourgeron would not say what the four employees' convictions were, what they did at DIA, or how long they had worked there because it was a personnel matter.
United Airlines, the largest employer at the airport, would not discuss the issue. ''It's a private matter between the airline and employees,'' United spokesman Chris Brathwaite said.
A spokeswoman for Frontier Airlines, the second-largest employer, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
The workers may be able to transfer to a job at another city and county agency if the felony does not disqualify them, Bourgeron said.
About 22,000 workers have security badges for city-owned DIA, of which 10,000 are approved by companies such as airlines.
Badges for disqualified workers will be deactivated. DIA officials deactivate about 30 badges per week and have no way of knowing whether a badge was voided for a conviction or another reason, such as a job change, DIA spokesman Chuck Cannon said.

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