No background check performed on youth coach accused of murder - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

No background check performed on youth coach accused of murder

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Madison County Sheriff's Department investigators arrested Mario Robinson last month. Madison County Sheriff's Department investigators arrested Mario Robinson last month.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

It has been confirmed that a Madison County youth basketball coach was allowed to keep coaching even after he was arrested for murder because no background check had been performed.

Madison County Sheriff's Department investigators arrested Mario Robinson last month. He got out of jail on bond and went back to coaching 8-year-olds in Toney. He was removed from his position on Wednesday night.

Madison County Recreation Director Ronnie Elliot said every coach is supposed to undergo a background check before the season. However, Robinson never got screened. According to Elliott, the Madison County Recreation Department doesn't have a background consent form or paperwork for the murder suspect.

Robinson coached at Blue Water Spring Park without the required background check. Elliott said he was in the process of talking to Blue Water Spring Park officials about why nobody submitted the paperwork to his department.

On Tuesday, multiple Blue Water Spring Park leaders said they submitted background check forms to the county but never heard anything back. Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong wants an investigation into what happened.

"It's concerning and I do believe that we will do further investigation to find out exactly the process that was done and what can we do to make it safer," said Strong.

Elliott said not every Madison County coach has a national background screening. According to Elliott, the Madison County Recreation Department checks a sex offender registry check and screen a coach's name at the Madison County Courthouse to see if they've had any arrests or citations locally.

Elliott said the only time Madison County does a national check is when one of the county's ten park presidents has a concern. Madison County contracts with a company called SSCI out of Marietta, Georgia, to conduct that background check. The company confirmed it costs $20 per screening. How many times has that happened going into this basketball season? Elliott said Madison County has not done a national background check on any of their 161 youth basketball coaches. That means if any of those coaches have a criminal background outside of Alabama there's a strong possibility the county doesn't know because they're not checking.

SSCI said they've conducted 22 national background checks on Madison County coaches in the last three years. The last time they did do a check was eleven months ago. According to the Madison County Recreation Department's website, more than 25,000 kids participate in the rural recreation departments programs. 

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