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FOX16 INVESTIGATES: Records Show School Bus Driver Has Felony Record

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Mechelle Coleman says there were no warning signs that would elude to her husband's criminal record.

"How do you be married to somebody for seven years and you just happen to fail to mention that you're a convicted felon," says Mechelle.

Mechelle learned her 68-year-old husband Edward Coleman had a record after Little Rock police officers were called to the couple's home last Wednesday.

A police report shows Edward was upset Mechelle's 'kids were coming over to their residence and eating all of their food'.

Officers say that's when Edward 'grabbed a gun and shot it at the ground'.

Edward is a school bus driver employed by First Student which is contracted by the Little Rock School District (LRSD).

Officials at First Student say Edward has been suspended following his arrest.

During his first court appearance, lawyers can be heard talking about his record.

"We show a 1988 felony Theft by Receiving and a 1979 conviction felony Theft of Property and felony Burglary," the lawyer says.

First Student, which is responsible for hiring drivers, says it follows state guidelines.

Company officials say Edward is a 'very good driver' and up until now a clean disciplinary record.

"You know, I can't really tell you he's a bad person. He's a fairly good person," says Mechelle.

Mechelle says she's considering a divorce.

"I'm going to see what I need to do," says Mechelle.

The Department of Education says if a background check is denied, First Student and the applicant are notified, however, the Department of Education does not notify the school district because the applicant may or may not actually be assigned to a school district at that point.

While First Student is contracted by the LRSD, the district says it has no involvement in the hiring of First Student employees.

LRSD provided this statement:

"Previous employment history and criminal background checks are always important factors in the hiring process for the Little Rock School District.  We do not have a specific personnel decision related to the employee in question that involves LRSD.  The District contracts its transportation services through First Student, which conducts its own hiring and background checks."


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