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Sex offender loses COVID-19 contract at VA hospital after USA TODAY asks questions

[ – 8/11/20]

Ezekiel Lopez is a registered child sexual predator in Illinois who spent more than three years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls under his care.

The conviction was not a barrier between Lopez and more than $700,000 in federal contracts to provide cleaning and janitorial services to help fight COVID-19 at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital just outside Chicago.

No rules specifically prevented it.

Government contractors are supposed to indicate on their applications whether they’ve had any felony convictions within the past two years. But Lopez was convicted in 2007.

The federal government can ban vendors convicted of fraud or other procurement violations from future contracts, usually for up to three years. But that debarment does not include sex crimes.

As a result neither Lopez nor his company, America’s Best at Work – which offers auto tire distribution as well as janitorial services – appeared on any list of parties excluded from Department of Veterans Affairs contracting.

VA spokeswoman Christina Noel said the company met the criteria to become a vendor under federal law, which includes being deemed “responsible” through its registration with the System for Award Management. The vendor also was in good standing with the federal government’s database for “performance and integrity.”

But days after USA TODAY began questioning the agency about Lopez’s background, the VA hospital changed course, ending its relationship with the business as of July 23.

Candace Oliva, a health systems specialist to the hospital director, said in an email that “nothing questionable” had turned up in the vendor’s two-year background check. But “after discovering this particular issue, Hines VA Hospital terminated its relationship with the contractor.”

Lopez did not respond to several calls and emails seeking comment for this story. A voice mailbox for the number listed for his company was full.

“It’s disturbing,” Burton said. “Especially if it’s a small business, you want to look at the business owner and whether they are responsible.”

But industry trade groups have worked with various programs in the past to help train certain inmates. And the “ban the box” movement across the U.S. has emphasized giving offenders a second chance at meaningful work after their release back to society to help lower crime and prevent recidivism.

Jill Levenson, a professor at Barry University in Miami who studies how society monitors and treats sex criminals, said laws designed to protect the public need to be balanced with a past offender’s ability to find work and support themselves.

“It all has to be weighed and balanced,” Levenson said. “People have to work. When people have been incarcerated or committed a crime, the expectation is they go back into society, be acclimated and be law-abiding … employment is a tough one.”

Read the full article

Commentary by Guy Hamilton-Smith


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I hope he sues the VA and win, I’m in the same line of business it’s how I make a living but I don’t put my name/address on the company so this situation doesn’t happen.

Sad that he is at a loss because of the registry.

I hope he sues USA Today!

So USA used the registry beyond its intended reason. It used it to get someone fired, which isn’t the purpose of the registry.

The writer might’ve got a hot tip from a losing contract competitor who then followed up with the story to the include a registry check which USA Today condoned. Using such public info for an article would be hard to prove it was malicious given the VA didn’t have to canx the contract once they’re made aware of the specs. Optics look bad here of course but proof is where?

This really pisses me off!!! It’s been on my mind all day, tip it off I get an email from the VA News titled “How VA Helps Veteran business owners“. I had to laugh as it fueled my anger to the point that I emailed USA Today, and this D-Bag opposing the story. I hope you all do.

USA Today is good for wiping your hands with if you run out of paper towels. The guy managed his crew and had integrity performance without an issues; but lost a contract because someone couldn’t keep their nose out of his business. Media needs to stop the bullcrap stories and keep their stench to themselves.

Guy Hamilton-Smith has a few choice words to say about this vigilante economic lynching:

I sent an email to the journalist and the USA Today editor lambasting this article; which I thought was not even newsworthy. Oh boy a registrant has a job and their in charge of other people at a VA hospital. Shouldn’t society want people to live law abiding lives after probation, parole or prison is over? I guess not in the minds of the true monsters: people that stick their noses in others business and should know curiosity killed the cat. With all the added punishment someday the courts will have to overturn Smith vs. Doe.

Emails to USA Today are in order…

This is further proof that the Registry IS punitive beyond a shadow of a doubt.

do you think usa today will go after Discovery channel because mike tyson is on shark week?

I have been waiting for someone to make the Mike Tyson point this week during Shark Week given his history…

Is his a success story then since he can do this now given his legal history or just because he was a badass boxer in his day and fame carries extra cred?

Dont get me wrong, i am not trying to take his success and opportunity away from him there is a bit of a double standard there. i mean i have seen the advertisment for this on the CNN website!


It also exposes and discredits the feel-good “we’re all in this together” hypocrisy.

Their argument claiming the registry is “not meant to be punitive” is like saying Segregation wasn’t meant to be racist. Or.. the contention that “all sex offenders are to be considered dangerous” is like saying all cops are dirty.

Robin at the National office has a good editorial on this article for your reading leisure:

Isn’t the point of succeeding past a previous mistake in life in showing you can succeed why the American dreams exists (or supposed to or maybe once did)?

Good investigative journalism by USA Today!!

Good that they caused this person to lose a business contract because of bad publicity?

I’m tempted to think this country needs to know what a MILLION PLUS collective faces looks like. Being a submissive victim of the playground bully has gone on long enough. Perhaps seeing the size of our number would give pause to some of this foolishness.

A huge key fact that has not been mentioned thus far is that this man was in a Major position of trust and caring for these little girls – not one but TWO… He was their Stepfather! And these were Not isolated incidents. The actual reports I obtained and his admissions state there was Penetration with his genitalia. Anyone who knows anything about working with sexual assault and rape victims knows that they never never recover and this affects all areas of normal maturation throughout their teenage years as well as their entire lives! Hence the correct classification for this individual as being a Predator! Getting away with just a few months of incarceration after ruining 2 little girls lives… Horrible!

That “huge key fact” is not relevant at all. Sex Offense Registries are idiotic, and as we see here, are nothing but harassment.

Further, because Registries exist, I can’t really care about what may or may not have happened with this guy in the past. People lie. People are harmed every day. If he’d merely shot the girls with a gun, all would be fine today. He wouldn’t be listed on any Registry, wouldn’t be dangerous at all, the girls would not be professional victims, and he’d still be employed. So, nope, I can’t trust the lying, immoral criminal regimes that have Registries to actually prove anything happened or didn’t. Obviously can’t trust them to morally punish anyone. And I can’t care.

Enjoy the hate.

I guess you can’t trust the Perpetrator who finally admitted years of it either? That would not comply with your stated agenda naturally. Sexually Raping these 2 little girls went on for a long long time and he admitted to it, saying ” it felt good but I knew it was wrong”. What separates humans from animals? Again he was in the role of being their father, a Trusted Man, their actual Stepfather (which unfortunately is all-too-common, many perpetrators particularly seek out women with young girls to live with) so don’t think that this is not going to ruin the rest of their lives with any type of trust issues and certainly with relationships particularly with men. Statistics and experiences prove that most sexual assault/Stematic Rape victims at young ages have substance abuse issues & often end up incarcerated themselves for other bad choices because they keep trying to run from the memories & physical triggers; like smells, music, settings in a home, what a man with a mustache or beard reminds them of, paralyzing fear of when it can happen again at any moment. Never mind after they become adults and if they have children particularly the young women, then it all resurfaces again, because recalling what happened to them at those age milestones comes rushing back with Smothering full force…. It’s like running from a high-speed train you never can seem to get out from under the wheels on a heavy track! I find you spoke like a true Predator yourself perhaps, by having NO regard whatsoever for victims of well-thought-out, premeditated & planned manipulative Repeated Rape – as is typical, couched in: “Don’t tell anyone!”. I guess it all was okay in your minds view because it satisfied his few seconds of animalistic pleasure?

I didn’t read one word about whatever he did or didn’t do. It’s irrelevant. He was punished for it. And certainly in no way does it justify having Registries.

Because Registries exist, I know not to trust big government “justice” and victim shills. I know I don’t have to care.

Most of us have been victims. Oh well. No one has to care about anyone else. Let’s list everyone on a Hit List.

Don’t worry, I’m not a sex predator. But the Registries have made me dangerous. But we don’t care about people who are dangerous, unless it involves sex. So everything is just fine.

Keep on hating.


Im sorry, but you are dead wrong about the never being able to get over what happens to you in your formative years. I know because that happened to me as a young boy. I blocked it out for a very long time. Did I suffer at times? I certainly did, but once I sought help I did not want to remain a victim forever because by choosing to remain a victim you cant really move on with your life. Unfortunately, DA’s, most victim advocacy groups, politicans, and the police/fbi generally want those affected by sexual violence to remain victims so they can push their narrative (politics). Instead all these groups should be helping victims to push past the label of victim and empower those affected by sexual violence either through threapy or with friends and family who support them to take back their lives. It can be done, but if you keep telling victims enough times that thats all they will ever be and that they will never be the same whos fault is it then?

I do not want to negate your horrible childhood experiences & I applaud you for your formidable resilience. Bravo! I can only hope that this continues throughout your life & that you do not revisit those sexually abusive scenarios either mentally, physically or socially that were so abhorantly perpetrated on you as a young boy. My positive regards & wishes for your continued good life as you have reported it. As you reported apparently you are a glorious exception!

Missing from your post to @Lovecraft is any retraction or correction of your statement. You said, “[a]nyone who knows anything about working with sexual assault and rape victims knows that they never never recover[.]” @Lovecraft proved false your blanket statement of “never never recover.” I am sure there are a number of others on here who could also chime in to disprove your position.

An “exception” to a rule means the rule as stated is invalid.


let’s assume for just one second that all you say is true – how is any of this relevant to ruining this man’s business, for which he was 100% qualified, and putting him and his employees out of work? In the middle of a pandemic, no less.

Oh, and the only people who without a doubt ruin people’s lives are those who kill other people. But they are not classified as “predators” (what a stupid word) and you would never read a story about a convicted murderer losing his business years after getting out of prison due to nosy reporters. If anything it would be a feel-good story about people turning their life around. Weird how that goes….

And lastly, the State of Illinois labels a teacher who has a lengthy and mutual relationship with a 17 year old student a “Sexual Predator”. You would find that correct, no doubt. Someone killing a 7 year old kid – no label. Correct again?

Dial down the hysteria a bit, @Suzie. Just a suggestion.

The relevance is that it all goes to character, representation of one’s credibility and a level of assumed Trust when an individual who has a company is to interact with so many others in society. Spending a few months in jail for years of sexually Raping, Threatening & Abusing little girlS in a role as a Trusted Stepfather is hardly the type of individual that only a few years later should be able to be Unleashed in society with unfettered access to work places where other little girls may be present. Even the most Elementary individuals know that Sexual Abuse 101 dictates these are NOT the first timeS, meaning YEARS & generally will not be the last times. This Predator has already admitted so many horrific details and all he cared about was his few seconds of animalistic Power & Control over little girls. I’m certain as is also customary with sexual rapists, he was extremely Unsuccessful in relationships with Real Women & suffered from Manhood sexual performance inabilities! The Addictive sexual compulsion is not quashed easily and most certainly not without absolute vigilance, ongoing therapeutic interventions and most importantly the willingness to want to change! As usual he was only a little “sorry” because he got caught!

Complete nonsense.

This person owes no explanation to anyone. The only thing of significance here is if his company will correctly do the work that it is hired to do. Any sex crime in his past is not relevant. His past business performance probably is.

I promise you that this person, like nearly all People Forced to Register (PFRs), if he is not interacting “with so many others in society” at this job, will just continue on and interact with as many other people in society as he wishes, and they’ll know nothing about him being a PFR. I’ve seen hundreds of cases of people who interact with as many people as they like. Sorry to tell you that your Hit Lists prevent none of that. And really, since this guy was harassed out of legitimate work, he needs to go out of his way to be around random people a lot more. That should a daily goal. That is the moral response to the harassment.

Your “addictive sexual compulsion” trash is nonsense as well. Only a tiny percentage of PFRs suffer from anything like that, in a way that is criminal. And you are really clueless if you think that with respect to PFRs that there is anything happening that even remotely resembles “absolute vigilance, ongoing therapeutic interventions”. That’s hilarious!

The vast majority of PFRs are not on probation or parole and they aren’t being monitored at all. At all. Don’t be so dumb and naive that you buy your big government’s lies about “monitoring” and how they need more of your money for them to do that. The emperor never did have any clothes.

I also don’t care if this guy has any “willingness to want to change”. He seems quite successful so it looks like we don’t need him to change anything. We only need for him to not commit a crime (even a non-sex crime!!) and to ignore and punish harassers who think the Hit Lists are acceptable.

Your immoral side lost your Hit List harassment war long ago. But I’m not upset to keep watching your casualties pile up. I’m helping today.

Stop harassing people and their families. Mind your own business. Do something productive for a change.


First let me say that I welcome your participation on this blog. Your voice should be heard, and while many may (and certainly do) disagree with some of your views, I believe that you are presenting your honest beliefs as to the nature of sexual offending, the effects on victims, and what you believe should be appropriate societal remedies. These are all subjects that should be honestly debated and this is blogsite is a wonderful place for this to occur.

I only ask that while you advocate for your positions, that you please keep an open mind and an open ear to those who choose to reply to your posts. Almost every individual that participates in this blog, including myself, have sexually offended (in some way) in the past. There is a wide range of sexual offenses and not all are equally morally egregious, and our society, through our laws, recognize this fact. This is why there are various sentences and punishments for various offenses. Being viewed and judged as “all are the same and none will ever be cured” is a mistake and I find such views personally offensive and incredibly ignorant. I hope that you do not hold such views.

We have all receieved our punishment and after varied periods of incarceration. or probation, we expect to be afforded a second chance. Almost every one of us are remorseful for our actions. And we all strive to now gain acceptance back into our communities to the extent that is possible.

We are not asking for anyone’s permission to live in America, nor are we going to allow ourselves to be treated as “second class citizens”. Those such as yourself who post their views, may be expecting acquiesence and acceptance to those views. Please expect honest (and sometimes strong) pushback. I pray that your emotional reactions to victims of sexual abuse, while understandable, will not prohibit you from now objectively considering opposing views.

It is scientifically proven that offenders returing to a supportive community, developing supportive networks of friends, living with a supportive family, gaining meaningful employment and affordable housing, etc., all contributes to one’s rehabilitation, and most importantly, reduces re-offending and recidivism. I am sure that you would be supportive of such goals, true?. However, unnecessary and unwarranted interference (such as that experienced by the subject of the VA firing referenced in the USA Today article) are antithetical to such ends.

I look forward to your reply.


If this man was drinking and driving 20 years ago and caused an accident where 2 little girls were killed, served his sentence, rehabilitated himself, and was doing good; would you think this man should make the USA news because he is now successful? would many millions of people still condemn him for life?

Suzie, are you aware that drink drivers have a very high recidivism rate, unlike past convicted sex offenders? Did you know that impaired driving has killed and injured more children and adults than all other criminals combined?

Suzie, I would think that since you are so concerned about this persons past crime(s) that have a very low recidivism rate I would that you would be more concerned about past criminals with an extremely high recidivism rate such as impaired driving or illegal drug sales where people are actually killed/murdered than a person that now seems to leads a successful life after being convicted of a crime.

In closing I hope no harm to you or your family by an impaired driver or anyone for any reason for that matter and I truly wish you a wonderful day!

Not only is this man putting in an honest day’s backbreaking work and doing his best to stay out, he is employing people when there aren’t that many jobs available. I do not envy the reporter if this is how she makes her money.

“Even the most Elementary individuals know that Sexual Abuse 101 dictates these are NOT the first timeS, meaning YEARS & generally will not be the last times. This Predator has already admitted so many horrific details and all he cared about was his few seconds of animalistic Power & Control over little girls. I’m certain as is also customary with sexual rapists, he was extremely Unsuccessful in relationships with Real Women & suffered from Manhood sexual performance inabilities!”

Rather, I would hope that even the most elementary individuals could see through this simplistic explanation for complex issues complete with future forecasts and predictions.

You know a lot can happen during our formative years growing up. Even Suzie has some interesting things one should understand. She is right and coming from a woman’s prospective one should understand. Sure one can talk about behavior means or responsiblities but many times one should let old embers die.

While Suzie talked about trust and it is about trust and also honesty. What happened 15 or so years ago should be left alone. While authorities seem to do their job it seems they press the issue a bit to far. I mean they will send one off to war to kill. Its as if whatever happened to Baby Jane and even that story line was a dramatic drama and a thriller chiller.

Seems today PO’s or authorities want to track evey spotless blemish one has and with this registry it seems a bit unbalanced or who is carnal by nature today. Authorities appear, even if one is on probation, to ask questions but we all still have our liberty to speak or not to speak. Whether one is found guilty, takes a plea deal or whatever means authorites will hound you with all sort’s of outlandish laws today.
People seem to want to prive and prove to get any dirt on another they can. I’m sure that happens in PO offices all over the USA with this type of offense. But one has to ask one’s self who is badgering to lead another astray. Were they not doing that to set one up.

Course their are many different offenses in the sex category. One wonders if brow beating is an offense today. I have nothing against woman and kids myself but they can we all have a responsiblity. We all learn lessons but with government it seems one has to be spotless and squeaky clean for any government position. Kind of uncanny wouldn’t you think.

@AJ and others. I would like to make one statement if I may. Conditioning is a process. Didn’t someone say on here those without sin cast the first stone. Now Suzie has a good point. While people tend to struggle with issues its all about correction and humans understanding the issues at hand.

Did not Paul say in the bible he was the chief sinner. Oh but thats in the bible. Actually truth is stranger than fiction in many ways. Myself and I’m sure others look at a lot of this sex offense or registry ordeal as a throwback or a conditioning method in many ways. Sure defending justice is good but when one dissuades or persuades another as in many of these encounters via this sex topic than things can get a bit out of hand.

God is a God of justice or why do you think Jesus came. Sure Suzie is right in many respects and its just like the person drinking themselves to death or doing drugs back in the the 60’s and 70’s. I’m sort of glad Suzie brought this to everyone’s attention as one should tend to look on the positive side of things.

Life is no picnic and yes I took criminal justice courses in college and rehiblitation is a good thing if one wants to rehabilitate themself. So Suzie with due respect I welcome your view on this two wrongs don’t make a right ordeal in many of these offender issues that many face on here.

This reply will most likely be my last posting and it is to SG as well as this last poster who requested replies. Important points that I wanted to make have been said and there is no sense in repeating most. I understand many people because this is a hedonistic topic of sex have very strong beliefs, feelings and many previous illegal actions on the act. I’m very accustomed to individuals having very vibrant conversations and extremely strong opinions and I am never deterred and certainly not intimidated by such, even when they take a militia type of stance, firing insults. Those stances actually reveal more to me about the unadmitted inner torture that perhaps this sex offender registry person is feeling. I believe that’s why we live in the U.S., that we are able to speak freely with our 1st Amendment rights & not have to worry about having a tongue cut out like in so many other countries! I do not come to this topic naive, uninformed and definitely not uneducated on the subject. Many years ago I conferred with and actually attended different conference trainings featuring The World-renowned Dr. Fred Berlin of John Hopkins who has a sexual Clinic there and has for numerous years, since 1980 or so. He’s a world-renowned expert. There was a time when this population was one I felt I wanted to work more closely with and after years of research and training I was Not convinced that the “cure rate” and a much lower recidivism rate was apparent. As has already been discussed and intelligently noted by a couple of other commenters here, it all comes down to Choices that individuals make in their lives and whether or not they want to change… Particularly deviant Behavior. I am always concerned when someone tries to sidestep such a potent topic as this with talking about other criminal categories, i.e: murder, drunk driving on and on. This is a particular case that we are posting about, with a particular man who abused these little girls for years, again not one but 2 in a systematic fashion whereby it appears even to the most skewed eyes was in fact planning and nurturing his Hunting Ground by becoming involved with a woman who had little girls. Many of us know as has already been stated this is a tremendous commonality among Predators. There certainly are “other” sexual categories that fall in different positions on a likert scale of 1 to 10, without question. This is why Most states have enacted Romeo and Juliet laws and if you’re not familiar you can look it up and that is basically trying to get away from a 17 year old having to be on a sex offender registry for having a sexual relationship with a longtime 15 or 16 year old girlfriend or boyfriend. None of this changes the fact that Lopez was only a few years ago, not 15 or so… Barely 13 approx. Now let’s remember that Lopez the Perpetrator was raping these little girls for years prior. Not isolated incidents! Calculating, brainwashing, threatening, most likely with financial household stability making the victims feel that they had to put up with it, and “ruining the family” if they spoke up. These are standards that are used by true Predators! And to serve a few months for decimating a family structure & the lives of 2 little girls, as well as their mother and many other relatives, he is hardly “serving one’s time and paying a debt to society”! If you disagree you’re welcome to it but I’ve set out facts and I know what I know to be true and unfortunately a well-worn history of many individuals who engage in THIS particular type of sexual deviance. The manipulative and cunning forecasting that this man I honestly believe was doing in his hunting for a woman with little girls indicates that he is not the type of individual that should be working in any Business Arena where there are many other women and those who have children and certainly not being around little girls – his preference has been illuminated by years of this type of Rape! There are some who will continue to dodge the face in the mirror and say I’m not that bad! Oh that’s not what I did so I’m on a higher key of sexual offenders I’m so much better than so and so. It all comes down to what the perpetrator who was finally caught, which by the way we know this takes sometimes hundreds of times to get caught and many do not ever get caught… It’s up to that individual to recognize that what they did was wrong wrong from some kind of inner belief system, not just what our society is dictating, and then whether or not they want to change. And as long as those types of individuals continue to dodge the topic, not admit to themselves what they have done is wrong & they have sacrificed other totally unwilling human lives for seconds of animalistic relief and pleasure, and then be willing to change and seek treatment nothing’s going to change. The Carnage of their victims will continue to be racked up like stacked cordwood! And they will continue to Skip Along to insult me or anyone else and blame the laws that finally caught them. My best to all those who have chosen the more difficult path to seek help, truly WANT to change and remove themselves from compulsive triggers that are particularly relevant to their crime against humanity. Dr. Berlin’s Clinic offers many different behavior modification and therapeutic interventions including injections so if you’re someone out there who is having extreme difficulty with sexual Cravings that you know are illegal, why not research that facility? I have absolutely no stake in that clinic or any others and I know that there are more in the U.S. that are probably very good as well . As we know in prison any sexual offenders are on the lowest rung of that hierarchical ladder for illegal activity lawbreakers. Why not Elevate yourselves? Again the choice is yours!

Bye, Felicia.

This guy has nothing to do with me or any other Person Forced to Register (PFR). Personally, I repaid my entire debt and then some. I have no need to change in any way, except that the Registries themselves have put me in danger of being forced to retaliate against the Registry Supporters/Terrorists criminals who think they are acceptable.

I expect most PFRs are like me and have zero need to change, seek “help”, or worry about what any RS/Ts care about. I’m a normal person living a normal life, except for being harassed in useless, idiotic ways by the Registries.

Now that people have forced this guy out of useful work, I pray that he spends more time hanging around with random people, including children. Just because of the Registries stupidity. That is exactly what I am doing right now and will be.

Stop harassing families. Try to mind your own business and leave others alone. But hey, if your glorious big government Registries are so great, you are going to need to get the rest of them created. You’ll have no chance at any credibility until you do.

If a person is on probation or parole, then their lives can be controlled. After that, fuck off.

I’ve never been in prison. But I am pretty tired of simpletons telling me what prisoners think about “sex offenders”. I should think those people are moral and take moral judgements from them? Nah. But I will judge judgemental people, if that’s what they want. You as well.

@ suzie:
” it all comes down to Choices that individuals make in their lives and whether or not they want to change…”
And once their behavior indicates a change, shouldn’t they and their loved ones be entitled to develop and prosper?
Don’t bother to answer, you already did.

I respect all views, but your posting is a jumbled mess. Is Saddles your ghost writer?

“None of this changes the fact that Lopez was only a few years ago, not 15 or so… Barely 13 approx.
Now let’s remember that Lopez the Perpetrator was raping these little girls for years”

13 years ago and not 15. That is important? Then, you’re claiming he raped them for years systematically. The article says he did it several times only.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x