A Sex Offender From The Gulf Cleanup Crew Is Accused Of Rape

August 13th, 2010

rundyrobertsonLast June, Rundy Charles Robertson supervised a group of people who were hired to clean up oil from the beaches of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Among them is a woman who claims Robertson raped her one night after work.

Her accusation led to an immediate police investigation. What they found was shocking.

Robertson’s History
A quick background check revealed that Robertson has a disturbing criminal record. It begins in 1991 and includes convictions for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and cruelty to children. Robertson was quickly taken into custody, and is currently being held in Jackson County jail.

According to Robertson, he and the woman had consensual sex. Although his official plea has not been recorded, he is expected to claim innocence. Regardless, Robertson’s criminal past is causing people to wonder how he obtained a position of authority within the Gulf cleanup efforts.

A Lack Of Background Checks
When Robertson was hired, his past was unknown. He was signed up by a company called Aerotek, and they did not require Background Checks. Aerotek is a sub-contractor for Miller Environmental Group, the company that was contracted by BP to clean a Mississippi-based section of the coast.

Robertson was not the only person working on the gulf cleanup who had a criminal history. In LaFourche Parish, Louisiana 20 registered sex offenders were placed on the job along with several people who had active warrants against them. Nearly 25% of workers in Grand Isle, Louisiana were found to have misdemeanors or felonies on record.

Leonard Nelson, a manager at Aerotek, admitted that quite a few people with criminal records were hired. Some even reported for work wearing house arrest collars. To make matters worse, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd stated that his department would have provided free background checks if they had known about the hiring process. Had that happened, Robertson’s past would have led to his arrest.

The rape could have been prevented.

Blame Shifting
According to an Aerotek representative, they didn’t demand background checks because Miller Environmental Group didn’t want them. He also says Aerotek is not liable for anything that happened among their employees, and that he isn’t sure about Miller’s liability. Aerotek did enforce drug screenings and physicals, but no attempt was made to find out if anyone had a criminal history.

BP spokesman Robert Wine also claims that his company is not responsible. He suggests that it was up to Miller Environmental Group to run background checks. Wine stated that BP does run background checks internally, but requirements for sub-contractors are beyond the company’s control.

Know Whom You’re Working With
According to law enforcement officials, this tragedy could have been avoided if employers had run Background Checks. Failure to do this has brought even more bad news to the gulf coast.

Most companies do thoroughly investigate people before they say “You’re hired,” but anyone can find out if their coworkers have a criminal past. A Nationwide Criminal Report will show you if someone has a felony or misdemeanor on record, and a Sex Offender Search will tell you if anyone is registered as an offender. At times it may be up to you to look out for your own best interest.

What Happens Next?
For now, Rundy Charles Robertson is incarcerated and facing serious charges. His bail is $505,000. How this will affect BP or its contractors and subcontractors remains to be seen.

What do you think of this situation? Should every contractor be required to run Background Checks on potential employees? Leave us a comment to share your opinion, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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