Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"If everything was handled appropriately at the point of hire, that should not be an issue."

Randy Perreira
HGEA deputy executive director, on the job security of two employees who appeared on the sex-offender registry

State puts 2
sex offenders
on leave

The Big Isle public school workers
had disclosed the crimes

Two Big Island public-school employees have been placed on paid leave after they appeared on the state's online sex-offender registry.

State of Hawaii The state Department of Education's action was aimed at defusing the issue temporarily and was not a disciplinary step, department spokeswoman Sandra Goya said.

The two employees -- a man and a woman from separate schools -- had divulged their convictions for sex crimes before being hired and proper procedures were observed in their hiring, Goya said.

However, she added that the DOE was "reviewing their employment situations."

The female employee, who was hired in 2002 and is working full-time as a teacher's aide, was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of an adult in 1994. The male, hired in 1998 as a custodian, was convicted in 1962 of second-degree rape of a minor.

The Department of Education may decline employment to convicted criminals if a panel determines that they pose a risk to the safety of students. Both went before such panels and were cleared for employment, Goya said.

Their jobs are not likely to be at risk, said Randy Perreira, deputy executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association. "If everything was handled appropriately at the point of hire, that should not be an issue," he said.

Their criminal histories were first reported over the weekend in Big Island media, who said they were tipped off by sources close to the school.

The online registry, which lists the names and addresses of offenders, was expanded earlier this month from just 74 names to 1,400.

State Department of Education

E-mail to City Desk


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