Archive for Thursday, January 26, 2006

Convicted felon still working at Baldwin High

January 26, 2006

A convicted felon hired as the head custodian at Baldwin High School remains on the job as an "at-will" employee until the Baldwin School Board makes a final decision on employment at its Feb. 13 meeting, according to Supt. James White.

"There has been a public outcry, thank goodness," said Board Member Ruth Barkley regarding the hiring. "The board is looking into it. We're not on the same page. She has not been hired. I am surprised there hasn't been something done."

White said the hiring has been discussed briefly, but said he isn't sure what will happen.

"I don't know," said White. "We have certainly talked about personnel decisions in executive session. The board wanted more information."

The question arose at the board's last meeting on Jan. 9. The board was to consider hiring four people, but a board member had learned just before the meeting that the person hired at the high school had been convicted of stealing $110,000 from an elderly Lawrence couple. The board member had received a call concerning the hire and then did a google search to find out about the convictions.

The person in question was removed from the personnel action report to allow additional investigation. White, who did not hire the person, but made the recommendation to the board based on one being made by the high school administration, said the final say would be up to the board.

"We will recommend them, but the board has final say," he said. "She'll be employed until the board acts on it."

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