JUNE 01, 2007
Demonstrating a need for more efficient background checks of law enforcement officers, an illegal immigrant who used the fake identity of an American citizen has served on a major city’s police force for five years.
Even scarier is that it took an anonymous tip for officials in the Milwaukee Police Department to discover that an illegal alien easily passed its supposedly rigorous background screening years ago. The Mexican man, Oscar Ayala-Cornejo, assumed the identity of a deceased cousin named Jose Morales about a decade ago.
Incredibly, Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty maintains that her department conducted a thorough background check on the illegal immigrant and there was no way to know that he was using someone else’s identity. “No matter what kind of background we did, we wouldn’t have been able to find it, which is unfortunate,” the chief said.
To assure the 1.5 million residents who rely on her department’s services, the chief hesitantly added that she doesn’t believe there any other illegal immigrants in the ranks and therefore doesn’t see a need to change the existing background check procedure.
Federal authorities say that the officer took on the identity of his dead cousin as a teenager. The cousin was an American citizen who died of cancer in the late 1980s. To join the force, the impersonator gave police officials a fake birth certificate and school records. At least seven relatives, including his mother and sister, have admitted the deceit to federal authorities.
Now one of Milwaukee’s finest faces prison, a hefty fine and possible deportation. In the meantime, he has been put on paid leave even though he committed severe fraud to obtain his publicly funded job.
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