CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A bill requiring background checks for all contract workers on the state Capitol grounds will be up for a vote today in the Senate.
The bill is a direct response to the recent arrest of a fugitive and convicted sex offender just feet from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office.
Last December, Capitol police arrested Ronald Scott Dailey, 50, of Charleston. He received a misdemeanor assault charge and a felony charge of failing to register as a sex offender after he allegedly instigated an argument with a member of Tomblin's staff and said, "I will break you in half."
The incident occurred just outside the Capitol's west entrance, on the sidewalk connecting the Governor's Mansion to the Capitol.
Dailey was working as part of a temporary services crew from Goodwill Industries. Goodwill contracts with the state to provide temporary workers to do routine work on the Capitol grounds.
After police arrested Dailey, they discovered he had been convicted of a sexual offense in Vermont.
Further investigation revealed outstanding fugitive warrants from Vermont and Pennsylvania, where police wanted him on charges ranging from failure to register as a sex offender to resisting arrest.
Dailey has since been extradited to Vermont on the outstanding felony warrant.
While the state requires in-state background checks for contract employees working at the Capitol grounds, there is no requirement for out-of-state background checks.
Dailey's charges were all from outside West Virginia. In-state background checks didn't turn up the previous charges.
After the December incident, Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, began working with the state Division of Protective Services on a bill that would close that security gap.
"We have to make sure that we keep the public safe," Unger said. "We don't want situations where there's a person with a warrant for their arrest or a sexual predator or child predator coming up here — especially when there are groups of children coming up here."