County officials, concerned about the confidentiality owed to to both children as well as a former worker, won't answer questions. CYF workers are understandably upset - they can't defend themselves or fellow workers. They also feel betrayed that one of their colleagues may be engaged in the very behavior they try to prevent. One of them, on condition of anonymity, has already told us (1) Huertas did get the usual background check; (2) Most of his time with the county, he was a probationary employee in the adolescent unit with a maximum caseload of seven cases; and (3) he did, unfortunately, have access to children.
I've recently discovered the following additional information.
1) Background check. - The US Marshal Service in Puerto Rico does not routinely enter information into NCIC. If the information was never entered, it would not come up on any criminal background check.
2) Prior Employment. - Huertas- Aponte had been living solely in the US for two years and had actually been working for another Children and Youth Agency in New Jersey before coming to Northampton County.
3) Family Notification. - The families that Huertas- Aponte worked with have not been directly informed of the charges against him, but each of the children on his caseload have been interviewed by a supervisor with the Child Protective Service Unit.