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Background check missed previous charges of ousted substitute teacher, agency says

WCIV Charleston 9/23/2022 Joseph Erickson
© Provided by WCIV Charleston

A staffing agency that works with the Charleston County School District has confirmed to ABC News 4 that a background check of a substitute teacher who police say showed up intoxicated to a Mount Pleasant elementary school on Thursday failed to show a previous charge the woman had.

Kelly Education provided the following statement to ABC News 4:

"The safety and well-being of the students we serve are always our top priorities. Kelly Education has partnered with the Charleston County School District for nearly 10 years and has successfully staffed 400,000 teaching assignments. We are taking this isolated incident very seriously. While we thoroughly screen all of our employees aligned with district and state requirements, our background check into Ms. Mandarino failed to reveal the charge on her record. The employee has been terminated, and we are working with the school district and local authorities on the investigation."

On Thursday, officials at James B. Edwards Elementary School confirmed that a substitute teacher came to school while under the influence. The woman, later identified as Lori Mandarino, 62, was arrested by police before she had any interaction with students.

Mandarino was charged with public intoxication and later released on $262 bond.

ABC News 4 obtained Mandarino's criminal history through the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), which showed previous charges of DUI 1st - breath alcohol test 0.10% - 0.15% (7/10/22) and two counts of shoplifting - $2,000 or less (5/5/21).

Kelly Education did not clarify which charge they missed when checking Mandarino's criminal history, when Mandarino was hired or when her criminal history was last checked. ABC News 4 has asked for more clarification.

The staffing agency says Mandarino has been terminated, and they are working with the school district and local authorities in their investigations.

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