Background Check Fails to Stop Computer Theft from School Subcontractor

Despite the criminal-background check required to become an employee of a school-district contractor, a man with two prior felony arrests was arrested and charged last week with stealing computer equipment containing district data, district spokesman Joe Lyons said.

The man, Todd Wilmore, 40, of Pine Street near 52nd, did not have access to sensitive data like student or employee information, Lyons said.

The information he's accused of stealing was from the computer of a district finance official. It was encrypted and would be difficult for most people to read, Lyons said.

Wilmore worked for a New York firm called Strategic Staffing Solutions that landed a $450,000 contract to transfer data from thousands of district computers in four district buildings to a network system in the district's new headquarters at 440 N. Broad St.

Wilmore was one of a number of workers' downloading data from old computers onto hard drives, then uploading it onto the new system.

Wilmore was hired May 15 and fired on Friday after failing to show up for work and failing to return missing equipment.

Police spokesman Cpl. Jim Pauley said the missing equipment was a $200 hard drive. Lyons said it was a laptop computer.

Either way, Wilmore was charged with theft and receiving stolen property after a police search of his house did not turn up the equipment.

The criminal-background check that the district required Strategic Staffing Solutions to run on its employees somehow failed to detect Wilmore's arrests for theft in 1983 and robbery in 1993, Lyons said.

Lynn Clayton of Strategic Staffing Solution would not comment on the crime except to say that Wilmore was "no longer in our employ. He walked off the job."