Company that hired convicted sex offender now required to show proof of background checks

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 9:31 PM CST
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MORGAN CO., Ala. (WAFF) - WAFF 48 is on your side with an important question; why was a convicted sex offender hired to be a referee for youth basketball in Morgan County?

Alan Ross was hired by a Madison company called Run N Ref sports. The company was contracted by Morgan county.

The Morgan County Commission chairman tells WAFF 48 the county had the expectation the company was doing background checks on its employees, but after this, they are no longer taking the company’s word for it.

A convicted sex offender refereeing youth sports- a disturbing thought that became a reality. So, why was Alan Ross able to get hired by Run N Ref sports?

“Somewhere or another this guy slipped through the loop,” Ray Long said.

Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long says the county does background checks on all coaches and county employees.

However, the county counted on the Run N Ref Sports company to run its own checks when hiring refs.

A check would have shown Ross was convicted of sexual assault on an adult in South Carolina in 2019. That would have barred him from working for an organization providing services to children, or within 2,000 feet of a school.

Court documents allege he violated both last weekend, and that he was only caught when a Decatur Police Detective spotted him at Morgan Elementary School suiting up in uniform and officiating the game.

“We’re all protective of our kids. I’ve got three kids myself, they’re all grown but now I’ve got grandkids and I don’t want just anybody hanging out with them. We want to make sure people that’s volunteering, working with them, or getting paid are people that meet the standards we would want all our kids to be around,” Long said.

WAFF 48 talked to the President of Run N Ref Sports on the phone. He declined to go on camera, and wasn’t clear if a background check was ever run on Ross.

But did say this is an isolated incident and they will run background checks on every ref in the future.

Commissioner Long is now requesting a thorough review on all current officials.

The director of Morgan County Parks and Rec sent us this statement. It reads, ““We (Parks and Recreation) like others, were disturbed to learn that a man, who should not have been near any youth sports activities, officiated games for our community basketball league. We understand the seriousness of the situation and why parents are upset. We are working closely with our community league to make sure that this doesn’t happen again in the future. As for now, we have asked for tangible confirmation that all current officials have had recent background checks.”

“We’re going to ask for proof, and I think my park director has been in contact with him today to let him know that is what we expect from now on,” Long said.

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