Skip to comments.Audit Found UW System Employed 40 Felons (WI)
Posted on 03/01/2006 6:01:57 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
MADISON, WI (AP) -- The University of Wisconsin System was unaware it employed a total of 40 felons this fall, including two who committed homicides in the 1970s and four child sex offenders, according to an audit released Tuesday.
UW System President Kevin Reilly promised a review of all 40 cases cited by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau to determine whether the crimes were related to their employment and the system should dismiss the employees.
He said 12 of the employees no longer work for the system and 25 committed the crimes before they were hired. State law prohibits job discrimination based on an employee's arrest or conviction record unless the crimes are substantially related to the person's job.
Lawmakers and Reilly called for the audit last fall following outrage over three UW-Madison professors who kept their jobs despite felony convictions. One of them was fired last month, and UW-Madison is moving to fire the others.
The audit found that UW schools were unaware of most of the felons working for them, and policies on conducting background checks varied greatly among the system's 13 four-year campuses and 13 two-year institutions.
Some Republican lawmakers said that was unacceptable.
"For an institution that prides itself on being a leader in research it seems they have dropped the ball on the most basic of research - background checks," said Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Burlington, who called for additional hearings into the matter.
UW System officials said the total number of felons is less than one-tenth of one-percent of their employees. But in addition to the review of each case, they promised to implement uniform rules for background checks and speed up investigations when employees are convicted of crimes to determine if they should be fired.
"Safety and security for our students and employees are always priority number one," Reilly said in a statement.
Auditors compared UW System's payroll of 42,000 full- and part-time employees to Department of Corrections data of felons who remain under state supervision. They identified 40 felons - three professors, four academic staff members, 32 classified staff and one student employee.
The employees accounted for 54 felony convictions, including nine that were considered violent, such as the four convicted of sexual assault of a child. The others were for nonviolent offenses such as fraud and forgery, theft and drug possession.
The two workers convicted of homicide during the 1970s have been on parole since the early 1990s, auditors said.
State auditor Jan Mueller declined to release a list of the felons, 27 of whom work at UW-Madison, saying she was still working through legal issues before the names could be made public. She also did not specify which cases the UW System knew about.
UW-Madison vice chancellor Darrell Bazzell said the university launched reviews into two of the cases and has restricted the employees' duties in the meantime. He declined to release the names of the employees or their convictions but insisted they did not present a danger to campus.
The UW System Board of Regents is gathering feedback on a plan that would speed up the process of firing professors and academic staff accused of serious criminal misconduct.
But the audit discovered that nine of 15 felony convictions by those already employed by the UW System failed to trigger internal investigations into whether they should be fired. One reason may be that the campuses were simply unaware of the convictions, said David Walsh, president of the UW System Board of Regents.
A leading critic of UW's handling of the felony cases, Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, said the audit was alarming.
"Forty felons on the UW System payroll, including two murderers and four child sex offenders, is not only shocking but I think dangerous," he said. "This signals the need for serious reform."
" Kevin Reilly promised a review of all 40 cases cited by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau to determine whether the crimes were related to their employment and the system should dismiss the employees."
just had to laugh
Look closer, you'll find more than 40.
Careful, lady. You never know who you are dealing with!
Since it is a university, they might review the hiring and decide that the felons should be promoted to faculty status, siting their "life experiences".
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
"Since it is a university, they might review the hiring and decide that the felons should be promoted to faculty status, siting their 'life experiences.'"
Actually, the UW system has had two convicted felons on the payroll for a number of years while they were sitting in jail. Professors. Child molestors & child porn peddlers. They just recently took them off the payroll and fired them.
A third case, same type of man, is still pending.
Un-frickin' believable! (Well, not really.) *Rolleyes*
Oh joy! LOL!