When a parent sends their child off to school it’s taken for granted they are entering a safe environment. That a background check has been carried out on assistants, teachers, custodians and office staff. Mindful that employees, since 1999, should have had a background check. These checks have been required of all Albuquerque Public Schools employees. However how the criteria has been applied now seems somewhat inconsistent and erratic. The inconsistencies came to light over this Summer’s revelations around Jason Martinez. APS hired Martinez while facing charges of child molestation in Colorado. Also running over a friend of his boyfriend in the midst of a lover’s quarrel. It later came to light that Martinez had avoided a background check. A detailed review of security and hiring, approximately 15,000 people inclusive 6,100 teachers, was announced by The Attorney General of New Mexico. The results give rise to serious concerns.

The review confirmed 4 existing employees taken on since 1999 never received a background check. APS were unable to confirm why. Furthermore around 2,700 APS career employees may also have gone unchecked. This figure may well climb upwards to 4,000 if a stand alone audit by APS is to be relied upon. The reason being that only teachers received a background check prior to 1999. Employees other than teachers were grand fathered in. APS have seemingly been slow out of the blocks to to address the employees grand fathered in. Irrespective the former superintendent had lost his job over the Martinez revelations. Background check provisions are contracted with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. APS may well have to foot the bill for the backlog. However new employees must pay a fee of $40.

Further controversy surrounded Martinez when he made a direct approach to an old friend. The contact being made for a potential assessment of APS IT systems. Martinez contacted his former acquaintance Bud Bullard for possible business. Martinez and Bullard were no strangers having both worked at Denver Public Schools together. Mr Bullard was in control of that district’s IT department. While Martinez was deputy director (academic operations) between 2010 to 2012. For the full story please follow this link

As previously reported the employee and background check process remains a ticking time bomb for employers.