A convicted rapist became a foster parent for several children even after disclosing his past sex crimes on his application, officials said Wednesday.

The disclosure did not raise any flags, and Nicholas A. Chaney (search) became a foster parent in 2001 along with his wife after moving from the Seattle area.

"His application warranted closer scrutiny and should have been more aggressively investigated than it was," Jefferson County Social Services Commissioner Patricia Connelly (search) said after the county completed an internal investigation into the matter.

No children were harmed in the Chaney household, she said.

Chaney told a local television station that he may have cared for as many as 50 foster children since late 2001 and even adopted a child while living in New York state. The county has said Chaney cared for 23 children.

Chaney was convicted in 1989 of two counts of third-degree rape, authorities said. He told WWNY-TV in Watertown he had been convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Connelly said her department did a complete review of its foster care program and found that Chaney's case was "the exception." Nevertheless, the agency has revamped its certification system to try and make sure it does not happen again. The investigation also said the state of New York must share some of the blame with the county.

Chaney, his wife, their three biological children and the adopted child recently moved away from the Watertown area to escape the media attention.