June 17, 2013
A former Charlottesville school bus driver has been indicted on several charges of soliciting sex from minors online.
Darrell Eugene Farley, from Howardsville is accused of going online multiple times and asking kids for sex. He was arrested in April after an extensive online sting a Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was indicted on Monday by a grand jury in Rockingham County.
At the time of his arrest he was also employed by the city of Charlottesville, driving school buses.
Parents and students at Burnley-Moran Elementary School say Farley was their driver.
"I'm really upset," said Angela Johnson, who says Farley drove the bus for her son. "You trust the schools with your kids. You trust the teachers. You trust the drivers, and I feel like they failed us. They failed me. They failed my son."
"Why weren't we notified of this?" said Johnson. "How did he even get the job?"
The city is responsible for hiring school bus drivers. Galloway Beck, the director of human resources, says they have lots of protections in place with new hires.
"We do a background check," said Beck. "With bus drivers, we'll do criminal history."
The city also compares new applicants to the sex offender registry and terror watch lists.
They say, when an employee is accused of misconduct, or arrested, they handle it on a case-by-case basis.
"An arrest in and of itself might not necessarily be an immediate cause for action," said Beck. "And it might be. It depends on what's involved. If there is an issue, it's resolved. We would notify anyone who is affected by it as soon as possible, as soon as we know what's involved."
Farley was arrested on April 2. His last day as a city employee was April 24.
Beck was not sure if Farley was still driving his bus route after his arrest.
"I have no reason to believe that he was," said Beck, "but I cannot tell you that."
Beck says he cannot discuss the specifics of Farley's case because it is a personnel issue.
Farley is not charged with any misconduct on the school bus itself.