Surprises found in Ala. Community Colleges background checks

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The results are in and the Alabama Community College System is celebrating Thursday.

After a three month long round of background checks the system says less than 1% of its employees were found to have felony records. The total number of employees with a record was finalized at 73.

Chancellor Bradley Byrne says "This is very good news for ACCS employees" adding that most of the criminal records were for low-level, older crimes.

There was a surprise benefit that came out of the search. Thirty-seven employees learned from the background scan that they had been victims of identity theft, something they might not have learned otherwise.

The system-wide background search was done by the investigative firm called The Integrity Group. The company sifted through the background of some 9,400 full and part-time employees.

The system employees approximately 10,500 people, some of whom had already undergone the check recently.

Of the 73 employees with confirmed felony records:

  • 23 have been retained (as of September 30) because the president and chancellor agreed that the crime happened a long time ago, was not serious enough to warrant concern, and that the employee has been a valuable member of the institution.
  • 8 were terminated
  • 4 left voluntarily
  • 6 were non-renewed
  • 32 are still under review by either the chancellor or the institution's president

"Every one of these 73 cases is being reviewed on its own individual merits," Byrne said. "If the president would like to retain the employee, he or she presents it to me for my approval. We will continue this process with all new employees in the future."