A security guard at a Logan Square elementary school is the third former police officer identified by WTTW News who was hired at Chicago Public Schools after appearing on the city of Chicago do-not-hire list.
Alejandro Deluna was suspended without pay from Richard Yates Elementary School in March, and an investigation by the district is ongoing.
WTTW News previously reported that two CPS security guards suspended by the district were hired despite being placed on the city’s do-not-hire list after they were fired from their positions as Chicago police officers.
Deluna, like those two other guards, also worked as a police officer for Chicago before his suspension by the school district. Unlike those guards, Deluna didn’t even make it past his training cycle as a police officer before being banned by the city from holding a municipal job. He was hired back by CPS about a year and a half after his CPD firing.
Deluna was terminated in 2007 by the Chicago Police Department for testifying in an aggravated sexual assault case without telling his unit commander or the required members of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office while under probationary status.
He was subpoenaed by the defense, and testified that Cesar Ramos, a neighbor living two doors down whom Deluna called a friend, did not have the injuries attributed to the suspect in a sexual assault case, police and court records show.
In 2005, a woman was walking to her father’s home after a fight with her husband, records show. On her way, she was pulled into an alley and was sexually assaulted by a man identified as Cesar by one of the other men accompanying him, according to records.
Deluna was a critical part of the defense evidence, records show. The police investigation sustained multiple misconduct allegations against Deluna for his role in the case, leading to his termination.
Testimony by the assistant state’s attorney from the case characterized Deluna’s demeanor as “not representative of what a Chicago Police Officer should be.”
Records show 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 was previously convicted of felony narcotics possession with a probation sentence before the jury in the sexual assault case sent him to prison for a 20-year term.
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 felonies, though those were not part of the misconduct allegations.
Ramos was identified by the victim at trial, according to records. He was also picked from a photographic array and identified in a lineup during the investigation, records show.
Deluna did not answer questions from WTTW News when reached by phone, saying he wanted to wait until after the CPS investigation concluded. He also declined to address 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, though proper reporting of sexual misconduct and following workplace policies might be indicators of potential success at either job.
This was the second CPD case with a finding of misconduct against Deluna. The first was a reprimand for inattention to duty from October 2006, records show.
The response from CPS, as in the case of the other two suspended security guards, said the district does not have access to the Chicago do-not-hire list, which WTTW News obtained through a public records request.
“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is committed to ensuring students have access to a safe learning environment, and we take seriously our commitment and work to ensure that all school staff undergo robust background checks,” read the statement from CPS.
A letter sent to parents at Yates following Deluna’s March suspension indicated an unidentified guard engaged inappropriately with a student, though the “allegations do not involve sexual misconduct.” The district said it could not comment on the nature of the investigation against Deluna.
The redacted criminal history report on Ramos included as part of the CPD investigation of Deluna was seven pages long.
Ramos was released from Western Illinois Correctional Center last year after serving 16 years in prison. He is currently on parole until 2025, records show, required to register as a sexual predator for the rest of his life.
Deluna submitted his two-week’s notice to his school before he began working for CPD in 2006, records show. He started working for the district as a security guard at Amundsen High School again about a year and a half after being fired by the city, records show.
Deluna’s pay was reinstated by CPS May 23, though he remained suspended as of Nov. 13, according to records.
The contract covering CPS security guards only allows them to be suspended without pay for up to 45 work days. If an investigation or discipline takes longer, a bargaining unit employee must return to paid status until the matter is resolved.
This wasn’t the first disciplinary file in Deluna’s record at CPS. Deluna refused to sign a cautionary notice in 2022 after responding negatively to a supervisor reminding him to close school doors and give tardy slips to students who arrive late, records show.
Deluna had no criminal offenses that would be an automatic bar for employment at CPS during his time with the district, records show.
In addition to his work as a security guard, Deluna was employed as the head girls water polo coach at Amundsen in the 2017-2018 school year, records show. There are about 190 employees of the district working in both security and coaching roles, according to CPS.
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 roles or other outside activities. Coaches and security guards were major contributors to a culture of sexual misconduct connected to previous gaps in the hiring process by the district.
Deluna and Carlos Lattimer, a security guard and wrestling coach also suspended by the district in 2023, completed athletic certification training by the Illinois High School Association, records show. The district confirmed both had completed all required training for the positions, and said current head coaches were required to complete training in order to be paid.
Coaches are required to complete regular training on subjects including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), defibrillator techniques, concussions, hate speech and harassment.
The district said Darius Alexander, a third suspended security guard on the city do-not-hire list, has never served in an official capacity as a CPS coach despite being listed as an assistant coach for the Lane Technical High School girls flag football team. He had none of the required athletic training, records show.
Alexander was fired by CPD following allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor in 2019, records show. His suspension by CPS was first reported by WTTW News.
Information about an assistant coach D. Alexander was removed from the girls flag football team page on MaxPreps, a high school athletic website, following the publication of a story about Alexander by WTTW News.
Lane Tech had no other employees other than Alexander with that initial and last name in the past school year, records show. The district said Alexander worked as a summer camp counselor.
According to the MaxPreps site, team information is controlled by coaches, athletic directors and other approved personnel. The district confirmed high school personnel, 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 coach of the junior varsity flag football team.
He coached at practices and games in the presence of varsity coaches, the district said.