A second Johnston County Public Schools teacher has been reportedly caught with a fake teaching diploma.
A week after JoCoReport broke the story of the arrest of a Cleveland High School teacher and assistant coach with fake credentials, we have learned a second teacher has now been caught with fraudulent credentials.
The second incident further brings into question how well does Johnston County Schools check the credentials of teachers they place in classrooms with our children.
JoCoReport has confirmed the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has opened a criminal investigation into the second unnamed teacher who was allegedly caught June 27th. She had reportedly been hired by the school system in 2018 based on a fraudulent resume and diploma. She resigned last week. Her name has not been released.
“Johnston County Public Schools has investigated an employee’s credentials based on a close connection with a previous case of falsified employment credentials,” Chief of Staff Dolores Gill said in an email. “Our investigation discovered credible evidence that the second employee’s credentials were not valid. We immediately began the process of instituting dismissal proceedings, at which point the employee resigned. We have reported our findings to law enforcement and to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.”
“The Human Resources Department takes very seriously the application process for all individuals interested in employment with the school system,” Mrs. Gill added. “Increasingly sophisticated identity theft impacts more than 14 million Americans each year. Our HR team constantly reviews its processes and procedures for employment. This includes evaluation of the work of our third-party contractors who conduct background checks. Our document verification processes have been revised to address the apparent falsifications we faced in these cases. Our Superintendent and Board of Education appreciates the Human Resources Department’s hard work in processing approximately 1500 personnel applications during the 2018-2019 school year. The matter is now under investigation by the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
On June 24th, JoCoReport reported the arrest of 40 year-old Torians Adaryll Hughes of Garner, a teacher and coach at Cleveland High School. Hughes reportedly resigned from his position in October 2018 after school officials discovered his resume contained fake diplomas and transcripts. Hughes was also a convicted felon. He is currently free on bond awaiting trial on two felony charges.
School Board Chairman Mike Wooten said he has full confidence in Chief of Human Capital Brian Vetrano and his human resource department staff. “The Johnston County Board of Education has complete confidence, faith, and trust in the abilities of the Human Resources Team under the leadership and direction of Brian Vetrano. Based on their diligence and investigation of the matter, the team was able to discover two individuals determined to perpetuate alleged fraud upon our public school system as well as other governmental agencies. As soon as this information was discovered, it was immediately reported to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as well as the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”
Officials would not go into detail on how the two individuals were able to pass background checks and be hired, including how thoroughly the teachers were vetted before getting jobs with Johnston County Schools.
Sheriff’s Lt. Don Pate confirmed Monday a detective has been assigned to investigate a fraud complaint filed with the department on June 27th by Mr. Vetrano. Captain Pate said the investigation was just beginning and could not speculate on a timeline as to when it would be completed or the possibility of criminal charges.
A Google search revealed a number of websites that offer fake degrees and transcripts starting at only $69. One site said the diplomas and transcripts they offer are ‘near genuine’ but point out it is intended for ‘personal use’ only.