Tucked away inside a manila file folder at the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority in Key West is evidence of the persistence of Randy Acevedo.
Removed from elected office and convicted of official misconduct in 2009 and now working at the Key West Sears, the former Monroe County schools superintendent has been applying to work at the public utility for 2½ years.
"He called and wanted his application kept on file," said Karen Rodriguez, director of human resources at the utility, which first accepted Acevedo's resume for a top information technology job in February 2010.
Now Acevedo has applied for both of two current, posted open jobs. The only item he has added to his application on file is a new reference: Brian Barroso, who is on the Aqueduct Authority's board of directors.
Acevedo has applied to be the utility's programmer/applications specialist, a non-union job that starts at $71,191; and wastewater treatment plant operator, a union job that starts at $43,161.
Rodriguez said Acevedo is one of 27 people interested in the programmer job, which has drawn resumes from Arkansas, New Jersey, Rhode Island and elsewhere.
Of the 11 who have completed the utility's application -- as opposed to merely sending resumes -- Acevedo is the only one who answers "Yes" to having a felony conviction.
He has the bachelor's degree that the programmer job requires, along with the five years' experience and a valid Florida driver's license, according to his application on file.
The plant operator job, located in the Lower Keys, requires a high school diploma or GED.
"It involves a lot of chemistry," said Rodriguez.
The job description on the utility's website includes details of the workplace's hazards:
"Performance of essential functions may require exposure to adverse environmental conditions, such as dust, odors, wetness, humidity, fumes, temperature and noise extremes, machinery, vibrations, electric currents, toxic agents, disease or pathogenic substances."
Acevedo did not return a message left on his cellphone Saturday.
Before being elected superintendent twice, Acevedo had worked as the School District's IT director.
His 2010 application, obviously outdated, lists his "current" job as a finance consultant for Historic Tours of America, for which he worked briefly as an independent contractor.
He has mainly worked at Sears since the governor removed him as schools chief.
Acevedo listed his reason for leaving the School District in June 2009 -- where he had worked since 1993 -- as "arrested for official misconduct." On the same line, he added that he was appealing the case, though Acevedo subsequently lost an appeal in March 2011.
His three years' probation will be over Sept. 16.
Also on file with Acevedo's information is a reference letter from a previous schools superintendent.
"Mr. Randy Acevedo is courageous, tackling the tasks asked of him within the constructs of the organization," wrote Michael Lannon, who has known Acevedo for 20 years, in a March 4, 2010, letter to the Aqueduct Authority.
"He is really good at what you need done; he is local and he cares," wrote Lannon.
On July 12, Acevedo updated his application to include Barroso as a new reference.
"No comment," Barroso said when reached Friday.
What's up, aqueduct?
But Barroso said that shortly after telling The Citizen to use the "same quote" he gave late last year, when the utility hired his sister, Christie Martin, as an administrative assistant to the internal auditor.
Martin was among 175 applicants for the $49,800 a year job, plus benefits.
"At no time did I have any influence or impact that decision," Barroso had told The Citizen in November, three months after Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to the board.
"The hiring of Aqueduct Authority employees is not the function of the board."
Martin previously worked as an administrative assistant for the Aqueduct Authority from 1994 to 2005, when she left to take a similar job with the then Acevedo-led School District.
The Aqueduct Authority has been under scrutiny for almost a year. A week before Barroso's sister got the job offer, Executive Director Jim Reynolds abruptly resigned.
The board replaced Reynolds with Kirk Zuelch, the utility's general counsel, without advertising the job.
The move prompted the County Commission to decide to ask voters if the board should be elected rather than appointed by the governor. That question will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Other outdated information on Acevedo's application includes his emergency contact, still listed as his wife, Monique Acevedo, who in September 2010 pleaded guilty to embezzling $415,000 from the School District while she was an administrator, hired by her then-superintendent husband.
She is serving eight years in state prison, having pleaded guilty a year after a jury convicted her husband on three counts of official misconduct for trying to cover up her crimes.
The Acevedo scandal upended the School District, which is still digging itself out from a mini-era of financial mismanagement.
Voters in 2010 relinquished the power to elect a superintendent, handing the job of selecting one over to the five-member School Board, which on Tuesday signed Mark Porter to a three-year contract.
At last week's School Board meeting in Key West, a report from the Finance Department listed "lack of trust since the scandal," as its top problem.
"We need more planning, forecasting, and we need better accountability and transparence," said Candace Kerns, assistant director of fiscal services. "We're getting there."
Acevedo first applied to the Aqueduct Authority not six months after his Aug. 28, 2009, conviction.
The utility's spokeswoman said then that a felony conviction didn't automatically disqualify a job candidate.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has strict guidelines on exactly how employers may weigh a job applicant's criminal record.
Bob Feldman, the utility's attorney since 1975 who recently came out of retirement to work there again, said federal law allows employers to screen applicants who were convicted of a crime on a case-by-case basis.
"Let's suppose you're convicted of embezzlement in the finance department of a big business, and you apply for a job in the same department at the aqueduct," said Feldman.
"That could be reason not to hire you. However, if it was 25 years ago and you're a good church member and this and that, it's almost like getting a pardon."
Only a governor's pardon can remove a felony conviction in Florida, Feldman noted, and employers have grown more open to giving people with criminal records a fair shot.
"The trend today is to get people who are convicted and have served their time, and to rehabilitate them," said Feldman. "It starts with voting rights."