DeKalb school board member has yet to complete background check, district says

The Dekalb County Schools public safety chief says he has not received the proper national criminal background check required for newly-elected school board member Stan Jester. The check, the board chairman says, is necessary to officially register Jester as an employee.

Jester disputes this claim, but, because of the dispute, still has not received a paycheck from the district, been issued an employee badge or even been given a Dekalb County school email address.  Jester has now hired former U.S. Attorney and U.S. Congressman Bob Barr to defend him.

“My attorney, Bob Barr, has written to the Chairman demanding simply that you be treated as the elected school board member you are; including immediate and retroactive full access to physical facilities and email and other resources, mandatory training, compensation, etc.  And that you expect and hope this will occur without any further delay so you and the entire Board and school system can work fully as a team in support of our students and teachers,” said Stan Jester, in an emailed statement to Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman.

In January, Dekalb School Board Chairman Dr. Melvin Johnson said Jester promised to submit the proper checks which includes a fingerprint check and a national criminal database search.

“We are hoping he will soon complete the process as he stated that he would,” Johnson said.

“Stan has had a national background check to the fullest extent provided by law.  The fact that the school district has not been able, or refuses to, recognize this is deplorable.  Because of this glaring mistreatment of Stan, we retained counsel,” said Dekalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester, who is the wife of Stan Jester.

Dekalb County Schools Public Safety Chief Donald Smith confirmed to Channel 2 Action News, that he received a completed state background check, but has not received a national background check, that meets the district’s requirements.

In January, Jester underwent a background check with the Dunwoody Police Department and Dekalb County police, which he posted on his website.  Dekalb County police confirm the department submitted a fingerprint check to the school system. However, Dekalb County schools public safety chief Smith says the specific check submitted does not meet their employee background requirements.  A letter from Dekalb County police, posted on Jester's website, says the police ran a "Wcheck," which apparently covers public school employees, but Jester has refused to submit to a check administered through the school district.

“I’ve run my background check with a couple of agencies, seems like that should be good enough,” Jester told Stockman in January.

“I don’t think that Dekalb school should do my background check, I think it’s a conflict of interest.” Jester said, adding that he is supposed to oversee the school system.

Some parents in his district support Jester, but others do not.

“I don’t think that Dekalb school should do my background check, I think it’s a conflict of interest.” Jester said, adding that he is supposed to oversee the school system.

“If the school system has a process then he is obligated to follow that process, and not go outside the process on his own,  he is supposed to follow the same rules that everyone in the county follows,” said Brian Griffith, a parent.

“As long as its legitimate, certified by the proper agency, it doesn’t matter where it is done so long as it is done,” said Janice Singer-Capek, a parent.