Friday, April 06, 2007

Sex Offender served as election judge at school

Sex Offender served as election judge at school
Board of Elections gets new policy
By Sarah Schulte
ABC News-Chicago
April 5, 2007

Click Here to watch video

April 5, 2007 - A convicted sex offender is back in police custody after serving as an election judge at an elementary school. Chicago Election Board officials said they did not know Arnulfo Vallejo, 27, was on the sex offender list. Therefore, he was allowed to serve as judge on Election Day at Nobel Grammar School, 4127 W. Hirsch, while children were present.

Because of limited resources, the Election Board did not conduct background checks. But, after Vallejo served, they changed the policy concerning sex offenders.

According to the law, convicted sex offenders are not supposed to be inside a school when children are present unless they are there for their children's conference or to vote. But, on November 7, 2006, and February 27, 2007, Vallejo spent all day inside the school

"On February 27, a voter who came to his precinct recognized him," said Maria McCarthy
Vallejo appeared in court today for violating the Sex Registration Act. The 27-year-old's attorney told the judge his client has the mental capacity of a 5th grader, a defense prosecutors don't buy.
"We do know he was able to work both days as an election judge, answer questions and handle voters as they came up to get their voting cards," said McCarthy.

After filling out all the necessary paper work, Vallejo volunteered on his own to become an election judge. His sex offender status was news to the Chicago Board of Elections because up until now the board never checked a judge's background. However, after finding 9 other convicted sex offenders who served as judges, the election board is changing its policy.

"We will make sure that none of our judges are registered sex offenders," said Chairman Langdon Neal, Board of Election Commissioners.

As for the nine other sex offenders who served as judges, the state's attorney is looking into charges against those people as well.

There about 14,000 people who serve as judges in Chicago. While the election board will check for registered sex offenders, it does not have the resources to do a full criminal background check on every judge.


Post a Comment

<< Home