NJ Mom Recognizes Census Worker as Sex Offender

Woman recognizes a door-to-door census worker from the state sex-offender registry

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    NEWSLETTERS

    N.J. Department of Law & Public Safety
    Woman recognizes a door-to-door census worker, Frank Kuni, from the state sex-offender registry.

    A man with a U.S. census badge knocked on Amy Schmalbach’s door on May 4. Thinking that answering the door to a government worker was a safe bet, she did. And then she wondered why he looked so familiar.

    As soon as the man left her Pennsauken home, Schmalbach realized where she had seen him before: on the state’s sex-offender registry.

    "I figured this is a government worker, I'm safe," Schmalbach, 33, told the Inquirer. She had given him names and birthdates of her family to the man who called himself “Jamie.”

    The man’s real name is Frank J. Kuni, but goes by many aliases, including Jamie Shepard. It was under the name “Jamie Shepard” that he applied for a door-to-door job with the census bureau.

    Schmalbach verified on the sex-offender registry that the man who was knocking on doors in her neighborhood was indeed the 47-year-old Kuni who has been convicted of assaulting an underage girl, and having “inappropriate contact with two other victims,” according to the registry.

    Then Schmalbach called police and warned her neighbors.

    "If I had not recognized who this person was, none of my neighbors would have, and I believe he would have continued to go door to door," Schmalbach told the Inquirer.

    Kuni was arrested Monday on charges of false representation and impersonating a public official, according to police.

    A census official told the Inquirer that a “Jamie Shepard” had been hired in late April after passing the name check, but was fired May 5, as he failed the fingerprint check.

    The census hired about 600,000 people to work home visits in the last week of April, Fernando E. Armstrong, director for the Philadelphia region, told the Inquirer.

    "When you are looking at 600,000 people going through this check, you can understand that it doesn't always work the way it should," Armstrong said.