[Updated] March 16, 2013, 2:00 p.m.
The following clarifications to the original story should be noted:
Dave Rowland is the "founder and President of Lutra Aquatics LLC, President & CEO of Aquatics For Life, Inc., and President of Aquatics For Living LLC" according to the company's website http://www.lutraaquatics.com/staff.html, not the co-owner with Donald Bettencourt of Aquatics for Living as originally stated.
Rowland confirmed in an email late Friday night that Corey MacDonald's "employment at Cornerstone ended two years ago." MacDonald's employment with Aquatics for Living ended the day following his March 6 arrest on possession of child pornography charges.
Rowland also stated in the email that: "at the time Corey was hired his backrground check was completely clean. We perform backround checks of all employees, and have never hired an individual with a criminal background. Corey's case was unique, as he was a long-standing employee with a criminal background that arose after his initial screening with our companies."
A former and turned over to West Hartford Police who charged him on March 6 with possession of child pornography based on evidence recovered from a computer first seized in a 2009 West Hartford voyeurism incident.
Many local residents knew Corey MacDonald, 28, of 24 Victoria St., Windsor, through his work as pool manager, swim instructor, and coach in West Hartford and Simsbury. He was also previously employed as an emergency medical technician.
Dave Rowland, co-owner of Simsbury-based Aquatics for Living/Lutra Aquatics with Donald Bettencourt, confirmed Thursday that MacDonald previously worked for the pool management company in various roles, including as an instructor at Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford.
"[Corey MacDonald] has been an intermittant employee for a number of years, but has not been at Cornerstone for some time," Rowland said Thursday. "His employment ended the day after his arrest," said Rowland, and he is no longer involved with Aquatics for Living in any capacity.
Rowland said that members of his staff never have unsupervised access to any of the swimmers, and added that MacDonald had been well-liked as an instructor. "There was nothing to suggest any problem of this nature," he said.
MacDonald also worked at the pool at Westminster School in Simsbury. Although he did not coach or work as an instructor for Westminster students, Rowland said MacDonald coached an ongoing community-based clinic at the facility. That clinic now has a new coach, Rowland said.
Darlene Skeels, a spokesperson for Westminster School, confirmed that while MacDonald did not work for the school he did work as an instructor for the company that manages the school's swimming facility.
"Yes. They do run community programs at our facility," Skeels told Patch.
Aquatics for Life offers management services for municipalities and educational institutions according to the company's website. The company also runs its own instructional swimming programs at those facilities.
The company only lists the two clients on their website. A third, the former Swim Center in Granby, was sold to the YMCA in 2000.
"We've had a relationship with this company for over 10 years," Skeels said. And until MacDonald's arrest last week, Skeels said the partnership has been a "good relationship."
Aquatics for Life hires and manages its own staff that includes lifeguards, instructors, and front desk/reception personnel.
Although the company hasn't been directly involved with students at Westminster, Skeels said many of the school's faculty and staff have enrolled their children in the community swim programs.
"That program has been very well-received by the community," Skeels said."We were all unaware of this situation until he was arrested."
Skeels told Patch that the school took "immediate action" and has since requested that MacDonald never again work at the swim center and has required the company to amend their contract to include background checks for all employees in the future. The school is uncertain whether the company used background checks in the past.
Rowland was not available to answer additional questions about MacDonald's time as an instructor at Westminster or the company's background check policy.
According to Rowland, MacDonald worked for Aquatics for Living for 10 or 11 years. He told Patch that he "never saw any signs of this type of behavior."
"He was an extremely popular instructor," Rowland said.
According to Vernon's assistant town administrator, MacDonald had recently been working for the Town of Vernon as a part-time EMT. "He is no longer employed," she said Wednesday evening.
In early March, state police found 13 images of child pornography on MacDonald's computers, according to West Hartford Police Lt. Frank Fallon. Det. The warrant for MacDonald's arrest on the possession of child pornography charges was executed on March 6.
He was due in court on Thursday.