Weatherford Democrat

Online Only

May 10, 2013

Do school bus drivers undergo background checks?

Ariel Castro was charged Wednesday with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape in the Cleveland, abductions now dominating national news. Castro was a school bus driver from 1991 to 2012, during which time he was accused of domestic violence. Do they perform background checks on school bus drivers?

Yes. Potential Ohio school bus drivers submit to a state and federal criminal background check before they can be hired. Once they are behind the big wheel, a computer checks the drivers' names against state arrest records on a nightly basis. A federal criminal background check is supposed to be repeated every six years.

At the time Castro applied to become a bus driver in 1991, he appears to have had no criminal record, so the initial background checks would have been clean. Grimilda Figueroa, with whom he had children, claimed he beat her savagely in 1993, breaking her nose and ribs and causing a blood clot in her brain. Castro was never tried for the incident, however, because Figueroa failed to appear before the grand jury that was set to indict Castro. (Figueroa later said that Castro bribed and threatened her to prevent her from testifying.) The incident, therefore, would not appear on an Ohio state criminal background check, which reports only convictions. The daily check of arrests that Ohio now performs for school personnel would have turned up the incident, but it wasn't instituted until 2009, more than 15 years after the domestic violence accusation.

 Why didn't the arrest turn up on Castro's repeat federal background checks? It's not entirely clear. If Castro was fingerprinted in connection with the arrest and local law enforcement submitted the information to the FBI, it should have appeared on a federal criminal background check with a notation stating that the grand jury failed to indict Castro. The temporary restraining order that Figueroa took out against Castro in 2005 would also have appeared in the federal criminal background check if submitted to the FBI. Either the information wasn't submitted to federal authorities - participation by local officials is voluntary - or the follow-up federal background checks weren't conducted.

Ohio has had trouble with the criminal background checks of school bus drivers in the past. In 2007, the Columbus school system closed temporarily while the state investigated the criminal and driving records of dozens of drivers hired from a third-party company that had failed to conduct the required checks. Five of the 60 drivers failed the background checks.

 

1
Text Only
Online Only
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 28, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 28, 2014

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating