Hopkins school employee accused of sexual assault had previous issues in Minneapolis School District

Before he worked at Hopkins Public schools, David Madrigal, who was charged with sexual assault Monday, had problems as an employee of the Minneapolis School District.

There, Madrigal received a five-day suspension and a Last Chance Agreement for reporting to work smelling of alcohol and using profanity toward a student.

On Monday, as news of the charges broke, it took a Fox 9 producer two hours and 25 minutes to learn the disciplinary information about Madrigal. However, a spokesperson for Hopkins Public Schools said “this information was never brought to our attention or provided to us,” and added, “we were provided with favorable references from his previous employer.”

A lawyer for Hopkins Public School told Fox 9 the district uses a “District Employment Procedures Guide” for the hiring process, and the guide “contains steps for conducting reference checks, including a comprehensive list of questions to be used by the individual conducting the reference check.”

The attorney said he could not say whether the district specifically inquires into previous complaints, but said the district would make the hiring guide available to Fox 9 on Wednesday.

It does appear the district was aware of Madrigal’s 10-year-old criminal history, including a hit and run, illegal gun possession and public drinking. The district conducts criminal background checks on all hires, and a record does not necessarily preclude employment.

A statement from the school district emailed to parents Tuesday reads:

We have heard from many of you who are wondering how this can happen. Some of you have expressed feelings of mistrust, which is understandable. This incident is not who we are, and it will not define us. Hopkins Public Schools is an amazing community of learners within a community that cares about its schools. I never take this for granted. Hopkins Public Schools administration has already begun a comprehensive review of its hiring practices. As we study our hiring practices, we will work with District leaders, outside agencies, and community members to continue to make certain our review is thorough, detailed, and directive. As our work unfolds, I encourage you to stay engaged and reach out. We need to hear your voice.