Lack of Time No Excuse for Not Running Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 7/5/2013

Matthew A Mazula got hired on as lifeguard at the Fort Edward Community Pool at the last minute, according to supervisor Mitch Suprenant. Because of the time crunch and the lack of any other qualified applicants, no background check was run, and the 24-year-old was on the job for the pool’s opening day of the season.

It was there that Mazula met a 14-year-old pool patron. Mazula admits arranging to meet the girl at the Riverside Drive park later that same night. He allegedly had sex with her, though the encounter was interrupted when the girl’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend came looking for her around 1 am. According to police, Mazula jumped in a cab when he heard voices calling the girl’s name and fled the scene.

Mazula was arrested the next morning and charged with second-degree rape. This felony charge reflects the fact that the girl was underage. No violence or physical coercion was involved according to police.

Had the town run a background check on Mazula prior to hiring him as a lifeguard, they would not have discovered any prior history of sex crimes, as this was allegedly his first offense. However, they might have discovered a DWI offense, which may at least have alerted them to the fact that this young man had a history of poor judgment and should have been supervised better while on the job.

A lack of time was cited as the reason that town officials did not subject Mazula to a background check before hiring. However, considering that companies like offer nearly instant background checks, this does not seem like a valid excuse. Employers can use instant products like US OneSEARCH from to get a quick and comprehensive picture of a job applicant’s prior criminal history. This enables employers to avoid unwittingly hiring criminals, even in situations where a position must be filled immediately.

Mazula had worked part-time at the pool in the previous season, and perhaps the individual who hired him based their decision on his past performance. However, it is not known whether or not Mazula was subjected to a background check last year either. In any case, it is wise for employers to invest in recurring background checks, especially for positions which provide opportunities to interact with minors. An employer can easily keep tabs on current employees using Criminal Monitoring from This service provides employers with an email notification any time an employee’s name and date of birth comes up in relation to criminal activity recorded in their multi-jurisdictional database that encompasses records from every state in the US. It can be renewed on an annual basis.

This case illustrates the dangers of hiring individuals without proper background checks. In essence, the town got lucky that Mazula did not turn out to have a long list of convictions on his record. If he had had a long list of sex crime convictions on his record, the town could be facing a much more serious backlash for their negligent hiring decision. As it is, the situation is very embarrassing and has prompted the town to review their background check policy.


Founded during the Internet boom in 1999 by an executive in both the staffing and information industry, – a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – has been able to create a service that provides a blend of flexible screening programs that included instant, cost effective and comprehensive solutions. Our experience in database modeling of public records information has led to become the leader in the acquisition and delivery of public records information by harnessing the power and technology of the Internet. To learn more visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • March 22 Countrywide, states and local municipalities have committed to ban the box legislation, seeking to equalize opportunities in the job market for those with criminal histories.
  • March 22

    Thinking about becoming a firefighter? Here are some of the background check requirements you might face.

  • March 20

    Four Department of Commerce employees are out after their background checks resulted in security clearance denials. All four had worked high-ranking positions for months despite incomplete background checks.

  • March 15 As more states legalize the recreational use of cannabis, they contend with the emergence of new industries surrounding marijuana cultivation and production. 
  • March 14 In most cases, it is easy to determine where an issue might show up on a pre-employment background check. Citations for traffic violations or reckless driving charges will appear on a motor vehicle record check. Verdicts in a civil court case will show on a civil court background check. And criminal convictions—from petty theft to violent felonies—show up on criminal background checks.
  • March 13 How many years back do employment background checks go? This question can have multiple different answers depending on the situation.
  • March 13 A new bill in Florida would require landlords of apartment complexes to present tenants with verifications of employee background checks to give them peace of mind the people working in and around their homes are trustworthy.
  • March 08 Police officers working with the University of Texas at Arlington recently arrested a man who had avoided police capture on a warrant out of Oregon for nearly two decades. The man, whose real name is Daniel Charles Ray Hanson, spent those 17 years using a variety of fake names and identification documents to move around the country, often engaging with educational institutions under false pretenses. Police say Hanson regularly went by at least three different aliases. He sports a rap sheet that stretches back to an arson conviction in 1995. 
  • March 07

    The Future of EEOC Guidance in Texas Is Up in the Air

    The EEOC issued guidance in 2012 warning employers about the dangers of enforcing categorical policies to bar candidates with criminal histories. That guidance is not enforceable in Texas thanks to a recent court ruling.

  • March 05 Vermont is the latest state to restrict employers’ access to and use of social media accounts of employees and applicants.