School Janitor Harley Joseph Fired For Allegedly Asking To Suck Student's Toes
A New York City janitor lost his job after he allegedly offered a high school student "as much money as she wanted" to let him suck her toes.
The janitor, Harley Joseph, was employed at LaGuardia Community College in Queens and fired in February after the unnamed student reported the incident, New York's Daily News reports, citing city investigators.
The purported victim, who attended a high school that shares its campus with the college, was first approached by Joseph (pictured above) last November, when he asked her for a lunch date, according to investigators.
The girl refused and wasn't bothered again until February, when Joseph cornered her on a campus patio and asked whether she had "nice feet." Investigators said that the janitor then offered the girl $100 to "allow him to suck [her] toes."
When the student declined, Joseph reportedly offered her "as much money as she wanted" and even offered to take the student to an ATM, where he could withdraw more cash.
When the girl said "no" yet again, Joseph turned violent, grabbing the girl by the wrist and leading her to a place "where no one would see them," according to investigators, who said that the student then managed to get away and report the incident.
An investigation was begun by police but soon dropped after it was learned that Joseph had been transferred.
Still, the incident is prompting some to question the wisdom of the city's decision to privatize maintenance staff at some public colleges. As the News notes, Joseph is one of many janitors screened and hired by private companies, which aren't subject to the same background checks given to college staff.
Across the country, community colleges are finding their government funding being cut and are trying to drive down costs through privatization.
Joseph was employed by Perfect Building Maintenance, which has a five-year contract to provide maintenance at the LaGuardia campus, was hired in 2008.
A unidentified spokeswoman for LaGuardia told the News that Perfect Building Maintenance does conduct background checks, but the company wouldn't confirm whether Joseph got one.
The newspaper notes that Joseph was arrested last year on unrelated misdemeanor charges, which were later dropped.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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