Richard Yates Elementary School is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)
A security guard at a Logan Square elementary school is the third former police officer identified by WTTW News who has been hired by Chicago Public Schools after appearing on the city of Chicago’s do-not-hire list.
Alejandro Deluna was suspended without pay from Richard Yates Elementary School in March and an investigation by the district is underway.
WTTW News previously reported that two CPS security guards suspended by the district had been hired despite being placed on the city’s do-not-hire list after being fired from their positions as Chicago police officers.
Deluna, like the other two guards, also worked as a police officer in Chicago before his suspension by the school district. Unlike those guards, Deluna didn’t even pass his training as a police officer before being banned from a municipal job by the city. He was rehired by CPS approximately a year and a half after his dismissal from CPD.
To know more: The CPS suspended 2 security guards last month. Both had previously been fired and placed on Chicago’s no-hire list
Deluna was fired in 2007 from the Chicago Police Department for testifying in an aggravated sexual assault case without telling his unit commander or required members of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office while on probation .
He was subpoenaed by the defense and testified that Cesar Ramos, a neighbor who lived two doors down and whom Deluna called a friend, did not have the injuries attributed to the suspect in a sexual assault case, police and county records show. court.
In 2005, a woman was walking to her father’s house after arguing with her husband, records show. According to the documents, along the way she was dragged into an alley and was sexually assaulted by a man identified as Cesar by one of the other men who accompanied him.
Deluna was a key part of the defense evidence, documents show. The police investigation sustained numerous allegations of misconduct against Deluna for his role in the case, which led to his dismissal.
Testimony from the assistant prosecutor in the case characterized Deluna’s behavior as “not representative of what a Chicago police officer should be.”
Records show that Ramos was described as a “known gang member” by an assistant state’s attorney, had been arrested in 18 criminal cases prior to Deluna’s testimony and had previously been convicted of felony narcotics possession with a of probation before the jury in the sexual assault case. he sent him to prison for 20 years.
Police policy requires officers to report all testimony in legal cases against the city. Chicago police also have policies against associating with people convicted of crimes, although those were not part of the misconduct charges.
According to the documents, Ramos was identified by the victim during the trial. He was also picked out of a photo lineup and identified in a lineup during the investigation, documents show.
Deluna did not respond to questions from WTTW News when reached by phone, saying he wanted to wait until the CPS investigation concluded. He also declined to talk about his time as a police officer.
It’s difficult to compare the responsibilities of a Chicago police officer to those of a school security guard, although adequate reporting of sexual misconduct and compliance with workplace policies could be indicators of potential success in both jobs .
This was the second CPD case in which misconduct was established against Deluna. The first was a reprimand for dereliction of duty from October 2006, records show.
The CPS response, as in the case of the other two suspended security guards, says the district does not have access to Chicago’s do-not-hire list, which WTTW News obtained through a public records request.
“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is committed to ensuring that students have access to a safe learning environment, and we take seriously our commitment and work to ensure that all school personnel undergo rigorous background checks,” we read in the CPS statement.
A letter sent to parents at Yates following Deluna’s suspension in March listed an unidentified guard engaging inappropriately with a student, although “the allegations do not involve sexual misconduct.” The district said it could not comment on the nature of the investigation against Deluna.
The redacted report on Ramos’ criminal history included as part of the CPD investigation into Deluna was seven pages long.
Ramos was released from the Western Illinois Correctional Center last year after serving 16 years in prison. He is currently on probation until 2025, records show, and will have to register as a sexual predator for the rest of his life.
Deluna gave her two weeks’ notice to her school before starting work for CPD in 2006, records show. He began working for the district again as a security guard at Amundsen High School about a year and a half after he was fired by the city, records show.
Deluna’s pay was reinstated by CPS on May 23, although he has remained suspended since Nov. 13, records show.
The contract covering CPS security guards provides for suspension without pay only for a maximum of 45 working days. If an investigation or discipline takes longer, a bargaining unit employee must return to paid status until the matter is resolved.
This was not the first disciplinary case on Deluna’s CPS record. Deluna refused to sign a cautionary notice in 2022 after responding negatively to a supervisor who reminded him to lock the school doors and give late receipts to students who arrive late, records show.
Deluna had no criminal offenses that would be an automatic bar to employment with CPS during his time with the district, records show.
In addition to his work as a security guard, Deluna was employed as a water polo coach at Amundsen in the 2017-2018 school year, records show. According to CPS, there are approximately 190 district employees working in both security and coaching roles.
Deluna worked at Yates, Amundsen and Roger C. Sullivan High School, records show.
Security guards and coaches
All three suspended security guards identified in WTTW News reports also worked for CPS in coaching or other outside roles. Coaches and security guards were major contributors to a culture of sexual misconduct linked to previous gaps in the district’s hiring process.
Deluna and Carlos Lattimer, a security guard and wrestling coach suspended by the district in 2023, completed athletic certification training with the Illinois High School Association, records show. The district confirmed that both had completed all training required for the positions and that the current coaches were required to complete the training to be paid.
Coaches are required to complete regular training on topics such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), defibrillation techniques, traumatic brain injury, hate speech and harassment.
The district said Darius Alexander, a third security guard suspended on the city’s do-not-hire list, never served in an official capacity as a CPS coach despite being listed as an assistant coach for the girls’ soccer team at Lane Technical High School. He did not have the required athletic training, records show.
Alexander was fired from CPD following allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor in 2019, records show. His suspension by the CPS was first reported by WTTW News.
Information about assistant coach D. Alexander was removed from the girls flag football team’s page on MaxPreps, a high school athletics website, following the publication of a story about Alexander by WTTW News.
A MaxPreps list of Lane Tech flag football coaches listed D. Alexander, before that name was redacted following the publication of a WTTW News story.
Lane Tech had no employees other than Alexander with that initial and last name in the last school year, records show. The district said Alexander worked as a summer camp counselor.
According to the MaxPreps site, team information is vetted by coaches, athletic directors and other approved personnel. The district confirmed that high school staff, staff and students can contribute to the site.
“The district does not oversee MaxPreps, which is a product of a third-party vendor and is not a CPS source of employee positions or roles,” a CPS spokesperson said.
The district could not confirm who removed the information from the site. A spokesperson later confirmed that Alexander worked from Aug. 7 to Sept. 11 as the varsity’s junior flag football team coach.
He coached during practices and games in the presence of university coaches, the district said.