Concerns on Civil Air Patrol Rescreening

Civil Air Patrol Background CheckMaj Gen Mark Smith, CAP has nothing up his sleeves

By AuxBeacon News Staff

[Editor’s Note: Multiple members and CAPTalk readers have asked that we circulate news regarding the plan to re-screen the CAP membership for felons whose records they have not worked to expunge. They’ve asked that we look into the details regarding ownership, complaints and class-action suits associated with Verified Volunteers and Sterling Infosystems, Inc. From just a cursory review, Mark Smith seems to be on a continuous downhill roll since the high-profile Kansas decision. He’s also asking the membership to go out and find clients for Civil Air Patrol, which we will cover in a separate story.]

To: AuxBeacon
Date: October 28th 2017 11:40 AM EST

AuxBeakers, attached please find direct links to statements issued by the CAP National Commander Mark Smith on rescreening of members and concerns regarding the chosen third party firm and member persec. In one follow up post, a CAPTalk reader expresses concerns that Verified Volunteers has partnered with or is owned by Sterling Infosystems which has complaints and class-action suits over illegal search, fraudulent billing and faulty reporting. The contributor there also mentions that Sterling closed an office in the United States and that CAP member personal information will be viewed and procesed by Sterling employees located in India. Is that true? What the hell? The idea for better background checks and removal of favored felons is an absolute MUST that you have been advocating, but a crappy shortcut offshore third party contractor seems to put CAP members at even greater risk, especially our pilots. CAPTalk’s Major Dave Bowles appears frustrated that wiser voices have deployed rays of sunshine into this dark area and the very last comment on this post as of Saturday morning does not give anyone a warm fuzzy.


Dear Valued CAP Member:

The industry best practice for nonprofit volunteer organizations, as well as most government agencies, is to conduct background rescreening every five years. As the U.S. Air Force’s newest Total Force partner, it is imperative that CAP always maintains the support, confidence and trust of our parent organization. To demonstrate due diligence and get CAP into the five-year rescreening cycle, we have contracted with Verified Volunteers, a highly respected company that regularly completes background screening for numerous volunteer organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts, and Pop Warner Football.

Initially, approximately 13,500 members screened prior to 2014 will be rescreened. These background checks will be conducted electronically; a fingerprint card and the normally required paperwork are NOT required. The rescreening process will begin in the next several weeks and will be completed in early 2018.

National Headquarters will use its currently-established process to review any information received. Members will, of course, have the opportunity to provide documentation or additional information before a final decision concerning membership eligibility is reached.

Please note that CAP Regulation 39-2, paragraph, requires all members to notify National Headquarters within 30 days of any changes on the membership application that may affect membership eligibility. Although we know this would be a very rare occurrence, an arrest after joining CAP that has not been reported to National Headquarters should be reported now, prior to the rescreening process. This could reduce the amount of time required to adjudicate any findings and help to ensure continuous participation in Civil Air Patrol.

Once these initial rescreenings are completed, all Civil Air Patrol senior members will be rescreened every five years, concurrent with their membership renewal date starting in 2019. Initial screening for new members will still be accomplished through the current screening process.

Thank you for your support as we make this important change to our membership screening process.


Major General, CAP

Sterling Infosystems does background checks and deals with confidential records containing Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, etc. They purchased Acxiom in February of 2012 and by April 2012 they were eliminating the majority of its work force in Ohio to send those positions to an office in Mumbai, India. Most clients are probably unaware that these background check services are now being done out of the country.

Verified Volunteers, based in Fort Collins CO, claims to be the only background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the service sector and the first online community mobilizing repeat, vetted volunteers. Verified Volunteers also claims to be “backed by SterlingBackcheck,” one of the world’s largest background screening companies. The Colorado Secretary of State shows that Verified Volunteers is merely a trade name registered to Sterling Infosystems, Inc. Katie Zwetzig is the Executive Director of Verified Volunteers, Christine Sbatella is Vice President of Product Management & Global Operation and Christina Brown is Vice President of Client Experience. A negative review of Verified Volunteers has appears on the Better Business Bureau site, but no complaints have been filed as of yet.

Verified Volunteers provides affordable background checks. Their service saves us from having to collect confidential information and allows volunteers to cover all or part of the cost of the check. Good luck calling customer service, however, even to set up your account or ask a simple billing question. We have never had a good experience. It has taken days to even get a yes or no answer. We believed the sales agent who told us that our experience when we set up our account was not typical but, now, we would not use the service if we had not already gone to a lot of trouble to get started. If you can find any other company that offers what you need, choose that one.

Sometimes the smiling front end sales people are nothing like the human staff or “system” that does the actual work of handling your data.

Civil Air Patrol Background Checks

Katie Zwetzig, Christine Sbatella, Christina Brown

Related Stories:
CAP-USAF IG Reported Civil Air Patrol Abuses
Convicted Felons in the CAP
Ponzi Scheme Felon on Arizona Wing & National Staff

11 Comments on "Concerns on Civil Air Patrol Rescreening"

  1. Avatar Gillibrand's Beach | May 14, 2019 at 21:05 | Reply

    Democrats always try to get the best GOP rainmakers tossed into prison. We will give them all a new home in Civil Air Patrol. Bahahahaha.

  2. Just a reminder, the National Commander, Mark Smith has posted about 25 short (dull) videos about what HE sees as important to our organization. Doesn’t seem like the videos are getting much views (Yawn):

  3. Avatar High Speed, Low Drag | November 17, 2017 at 04:05 | Reply

    Is CAP screening for arrests, for charges or for convictions? An arrest without charges (and they DO happen) can be expunged, but if charges are filed (which means evidence exists, at least in the State’s eyes), they must be sealed. That’s the difference between the two terms. As for convictions, the presumption of innocence no longer applies, and you can’t hide a criminal court’s ruling. Seems we may need to get on the same page with the language to have an intelligent conversation about who’s staying and who’s not.

  4. So, the next time a big CAP/HQ scandal breaks (and there will be a next time), we should certainly be outraged, but we shouldn’t be surprised. We should also demand that the Congress and the Justice Department hold them accountable.

  5. Avatar Lead By Example | November 2, 2017 at 02:03 | Reply

    We want a re-screening of Smith’s national state legislative manager, James Nova, who was convicted for a Ponzi scheme. He was terminated twice by the CAP, but reinstated by Carr. He heads up the State funding appropriations for the CAP.

    • As I understand it, once a “waiver” has been approved by a national commander and/or the member is reinstated, that sticks forever and cannot be rescinded, even years later and after the CAP has had new national commanders.

      And what most people don’t know is that a fingerprint card sent to the FBI will not work if the person has had his/her records sealed and expunged. If they are smart enough to send the expungement order to the FBI, the feds will remove the arrest records from its files and returns the fingerprint card(s) to the state where the arrest occurred, which also removes the record from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).. In some states, the record remains but the CAP has never been able to check individual state records. So a fingerprint card check with the FBI can sometimes be useless.

      • [added] In the James Nova case, News of the Force was first to discover his felony conviction and report on it. At the time, Major Gen. Courter was the national commander. We told her about it and that’s when she was stopped by his “waiver.”

        Additionally, News of the Force first reported the felony conviction of Col. Robert Lynch. This guy was a Pineda crony in the Florida Wing and also got a “waiver” from Pineda. When NOTF discovered this one, we also forwarded the proof the Gen. Courter. At that time, Lynch was the commander of the Arizona Wing. Gen. Courter immediately relieved him of wing command but also ran into one of Pineda’s “waivers.” Lynch later joined the Civil Air Patrol in Washington state, but Gen. Courter was able to make sure that Lynch was never again allowed to hold any command position in the CAP.

  6. Why is the CAP NOW doing re-screening efforts after they have been a “total farce” partner? This should of been done before they were ever considered. I smell something fishy with this process. Is this Smith’s way of ridding the CAP of whistle blowers and those that voice out? Are they going to check Carr, Nova and others who have felonies?

  7. Shady corporations such as the CAP would be in need of desperate or shady companies to partner with.

  8. What’s up with the number 13,500? Isn’t that low?

  9. For Halloween, Mark Smith should go as Pinocchio. He wouldn’t have to spend anything on his costume.

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