News & Resources

Background check fails to reveal legal troubles for recently hired Florida headmaster

Mar 04, 2011 Matt Roesly

A flawed background check may have failed to alert members of a school committee of a recently hired headmaster's pending felony charge for writing a fake check.

 The Palm Beach Post reports that the staff at the Summit Christian School in West Palm Beach failed to examine Socrates Maradiaga's criminal background before he was appointed as the new headmaster and president of the school. In addition to the pending case, Maradiaga was also convicted of contracting without a license and has been the defendant in a series of cases involving failing to pay debts. Sam Skelton, who was the former headmaster at the school, explained to the news source that the school had run a background screening on Maradiaga but suspected that someone on the staff had misspelled his name when running the check. Skelton said that the new headmaster should have alerted them to his ongoing legal issues during the application process. According to many human resources experts, more employers are running background checks than before, given the tough economy. In a recent interview with Career Builder, Dan Chaney, director of HR services at Employers Resource Association, said that "for a growing number of positions, more of the applicant's past history is needed to make a truly informed decision."