Donell Allison: Accused Boca employee has spotty background

BOCA RATON, Fla. - As Boca Raton city contractor Raul Reynoso continues to recover in a Delray Beach hospital bed after allegedly being beaten by city employee Donell Allison, NewsChannel5 has found that Reynoso was allegedly attacked by someone with a violent past.

In August of 2006, Donell Allison was charged with battery for allegedly punching his girlfriend.

Three months later,  Allison allegedly punched her again, then attacked a witness and knocked her tooth out.

For that, he served eight months in county jail, but plead to a misdemeanor.

The next year, he applies for a groundskeeping job with the City of Boca Raton, and gets hired.


Well, forms show the contractor hired to do the background check only searched the Dept. of Corrections database that would show whether Allison was ever in state prison, not anything that would reveal local charges, like the FDLE website.

Assistant City Manager Mike Woika told NewsChannel 5, "The fact that he had been incarcerated for part of the previous year would likely have made a difference in hiring him."

After Allison was employed, his personnel file shows supervisors report offensive language and threats of violence. 

The $25,000-a-year employee was sometimes asked to work alone so he wouldn't start trouble.

One supervisor reported three run-ins in fifteen months.

In July of 2011, deputy city manager George Brown gave him "one last chance" and denied a recommendation from a lower supervisor that Allison be fired.

Two years later, on Tuesday, while on the job, Allison allegedly slammed city contractor Raul Reynoso head-first into pavement in front of the city library after a confrontation over a lunch container.

We asked the assistant city manager whether the city should apologize to Reynoso's family, that Allison was still employed.

"I don't think an apology is the right word. I think it is regrettable," said Woika. "It is easy to do Monday morning (quarterbacking). Would we, could we have prevented this? I'm not sure we could have prevented this unfortunate event."

The company that did Reynoso's background check told us the city ordered an incomplete check of Allison, that they should have also asked for an FDLE work up.

The city says Allison was required to tell them about a fourth battery charge he got in 2008, but that he failed to do so.

He's on unpaid leave.

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