9 Investigates

9 Investigates alleged charges on bus driver's background check

A new Orange County Public School bus driver who was recently hired by the district said an error in a criminal background check slowed her hiring process.

Investigative reporter Karla Ray dug into Sue Ann Bearse’s history, after reviewing the records check that alleged Bearse violated probation in 2004 in Pasco County.

9 Investigates found out the woman was arrested for a Pasco County ordinance violation related to a loose dog, and a charge for a worthless check that led to a six-month stint on probation, but she had no arrest records for any probation violation, which is considered a more serious charge.

“I’ve never had one of those.  How many other people have this, and they don’t know it?,” she said.

By the numbers, the alleged bad background check is a fluke.  Level 2 background checks are done on all potential school district employees who work directly with children.

During the last fiscal year, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement processed 3.5 million requests for criminal history records, and the agency says 97 percent of those criminal history records are compiled accurately.

“It’s like your credit report. You never know what's on it until you look at it.  But now I'm going to be looking at my criminal report,” Bearse said.

Bearse was able to get things cleared up with the district in order to get hired.

The DLE is the central repository for criminal history information and receives information from several sources, including clerks of court and law enforcement agencies.