Tallmadge school bus aide facing sex charges had criminal past, why did he get the job?

Questions remain after Tallmadge bus aide arrested on sex charges

TALLMADGE, Ohio (WOIO) - A local school bus aide faces multiple sex charges.

Police say Howard Franklin Jr. allegedly touched five girls between the ages of 6 and 9 inappropriately on a school bus last September.

Franklin Jr. was only employed as a bus aide for two months with Tallmadge City Schools.

The district says he was fired after the allegations.

19 Investigates found Franklin Jr. has a criminal history of theft convictions in Summit County.

We wanted to know why this man with a criminal history got the job in the first place.

19 Investigates dug into his background and found in addition to several theft convictions over the past five years, Franklin Jr. also had an active warrant in Akron when he was hired.

We found several criminal offenses can prevent people from getting jobs as bus drivers and aides under Ohio law, ranging from sexual offenses to child crimes, and violent crimes like murder.

But we learned theft is not one of them.

Petermann Bus contracts with Tallmadge and several other local schools to provide transportation.

They were responsible for the suspect's background check.

A spokesperson for Petermann Bus, Edward Flavin, sent us this statement:

“We have a stringent set of guidelines, background checks, and standards that must be met in order to work for our team. A complete background check was administered and at the time of his hire, the former monitor had no disqualifying events that would have prevented us from employing him.”

On its website, Petermann Bus states they use a third-party vendor for criminal background checks to comply with state and federal laws, company policy and district standards.

Flavin told us that company is Hireright.

We asked him whether Petermann Bus was aware of Franklin Jr.'s criminal history, including an open warrant, and whether or not those were considered “disqualifying events” for hiring.

Flavin did not answer these questions, instead saying anything related to Franklin Jr.'s charges should be directed to local authorities.

He did provide these answers to our follow up questions:

-In general, what is Petermann Bus’s policy on criminal background investigations?

Our background checks are performed pursuant to federal, state and contractual regulations/requirements.

-What are considered “disqualifying events” for potential employees? Is an open warrant a disqualifying event?

Disqualifying events may include events deemed to except employment pursuant to internal policies and/or state and federal laws.

-Can we have a copy of this policy?

We do not provide internal policies relating to our hiring process and protocol.

Franklin Jr. is in the Summit County jail on $500,000 cash bond.

He’ll be back in court March 5.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.