Wayne County closes investigation into drivers - WNCN: News, Weather

WNCN Investigates

Wayne County closes investigation into drivers

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Wayne County Schools says it has completed an internal investigation into all of the district's school bus drivers.

The school's probe was prompted by a WNCN investigation, which revealed drivers with violent criminal and felony convictions.

The district took WNCN's findings and conducted an internal investigation into the criminal and felony backgrounds of their staff. District officials say they do not have a driver with drug charges or breaking and entering charges.

School officials blamed government agencies for "merging the files" of at least one driver.

However, in the cases of at least two drivers who have felony and violent criminal convictions, including assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, the district remained tight lipped.

"We can't confirm or deny that," said Wayne County Schools spokesman Ken Derksen.

Derksen and the Wayne County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Steven Taylor refused to address the drivers that WNCN confirmed have violent criminal and felony convictions in its initial investigation.

During that investigation, Wayne County Schools gave WNCN a list of its drivers and birth dates. WNCN used that information and checked it with public information at the Wayne County Sheriff's Office. In some cases, where convictions occurred across several counties, WNCN contacted those counties' sheriff's offices and obtained and compared mug shots.

After receiving confirmation on a number of drivers at the county level, WNCN went a step further and called the Department of Public Safety. Using birth dates and offender numbers, DPS officials confirmed some of the drivers in question matched the criminal and felony offenders.

Regardless of the fact that WNCN received confirmation from multiple agencies, the school district refused to comment on those two cases and declined an on-camera interview request.

The school district defended its hiring process, saying unless someone was convicted for drugs or crimes against children, the district would hire drivers with criminal or even felony convictions because the district reviews an individual's life actions since the conviction.

Charlotte Huffman

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