Middle school PHC employee charged with murder

A woman who works for the same janitorial company that servicesPortland State has been arrested for murder but it is unlikely suchan event could happen here, according to PSU’s Facilities andPlanning department.

The Oregonian reported that a custodian at Fernwood middleschool, Rebecca Lynn Lai-How, was arrested in Tukwila, Wash. andcharged with the murder of her ex-husband, Dean Lai-How. Theex-husband was shot Tuesday while walking his dog.

The woman was employed by Portland Habilitation Center, the samecompany that supplies janitorial services to Portland State. Thecompany specializes in hiring and training persons withdisabilities.

Rebecca Lynn Lai-How had worked at Fernwood since September. Shehad been employed by PHC since March 2003. She has been chargedwith first-degree murder and held under $1 million bail. As aresult of the incident Portland Public Schools is to review itsemployee screening policy.

According to Robyn Pierce, assistant director of facilities atPSU, “This should not impact PHC’s work at Portland State.” PHC hasbeen under some criticism by the facilities department for what thedepartment feels has been inadequate performance at times, mainlydue to absenteeism of workers. However, there have been noincidents here like the Lai-How case.

“Our contract with PHC requires criminal history check,” Piercesaid. “As a condition of our contract, PHC requires a criminalhistory check from the Oregon State Police Criminal IdentificationOffice or appropriate federal or national security.”

The Oregonian said Lai-How passed two rounds of local andnational checks when she was hired and recently passed anothercheck for possible civil actions.