Thursday, October 05, 2017

Cubs, Marathon Security Firm Loses License And NFL Contract In Minnesota; "Hundreds And Hundreds And Hundreds" Of Personnel Problems

A local company that provides security for Wrigley Field and the Chicago Marathon has lost its license to operate in Minnesota after an investigation found widespread hiring irregularities, inadequate training, and double-billing.

Monterrey CEO Juan Gaytán outside Wrigley Field
Monterrey Security’s contract to provide guards for Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, has been canceled as a result of the investigation.

“Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of Monterrey’s personnel were not adequately trained and licensed according to Richard Hodsdon, chairman of the Minnesota Private Detective and Protective Services Agency Board. The firm also double-billed the stadium and failed to conduct background checks, officials said.

Among the guards provided by Monterrey was Ricky Eugene Pouncil, who served 16 months in prison after he was convicted of trying to extort money from a 57-year-old man in a 2010 sexting conspiracy.

Pouncil and a friend blackmailed the suburban Minneapolis businessman after the friend convinced the target to send sexually explicit text messages, prosecutors said.

The man was later found dead in a remote area. A note left behind said “I am being extorted over $500,000. Best for my family and friends.”

Despite the conviction, Pouncil was found checking security credentials at the door of U.S. Bank stadium during an NFL game last season, authorities said.

Felons are prohibited from holding security jobs in Minnesota.

Monterrey’s problems are not over in Minnesota. The FBI and state authorities continue to look into allegations that the company falsified government documents and hired convicted criminals.

The company’s president, Juan Gayan, Jr, called the Minnesota problems “administrative issues.”

Monterrey reportedly admitted to Minnesota licensing regulators that they bused in 100 workers from Chicago to work the Viking’s home opener last month against the New Orleans Saints. The company said it could not find workers in the Twin Cities.

“We were operating to the best of our ability, following industry best practices and trying to do our best,” a Monterrey official said.

Two new security companies have taken over for Monterrey in Minnesota. Both said they are interested in hiring displaced Monterrey employees who successfully complete background checks and licensing requirements.

In addition to the Marathon and Cubs, Monterrey provides guards for the Bears, Blackhawks, and the Chicago Pride Parade.

The Chicago Cubs and Monterrey Security did not respond to requests for comment. The Chicago Police Department was not able to provide an immediate response due to time constraints. We will publish the department’s statement when it is made available.

At right: a police look-alike who was working for Walsh Security in Wrigleyville during last year's Cubs post-season.
CWBChicago first reported on the Minnesota situation in June after publishing a series of reports that showed another local security company utilized unlicensed guards and police look-alikes while patrolling Lakeview during last year’s Cubs post-season.

And, our reporters first raised questions about the qualifications of the private security firms hired to patrol public events after the June 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Tom Tunney
Our interest then was in knowing how the city would confirm that Chicago Pride Parade organizers would provide a promised 160 off-duty police officers for parade security.

44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney’s office referred us to Chicago Special Events Management, which stated “Our security service is license [sic], bonded and insured, [it is the] same group that does the neighborhood security for the Chicago Cubs.  Most are permitted for carrying firearms, a few are certified...but non-carrying firearms.  All are certified security personnel.”

No one ever answered our questions about how the city would confirm that organizers provided all of the officers they promised to or how the city would ensure the guards’ qualifications.

Side Note

Notably, after our inquiry about security, Alderman Tom Tunney’s office immediately ceased all communication with us. To this day, his office will not comment to us on any topic whatsoever. It makes us wonder what it was about the security questions that caused them to clam up.
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  1. Not sure who is scarier, Pouncil or Tunney.

  2. Don't worry about Pouncil. Uber and Lyft would hire him in a minute.

    1. Very true they would hire him because uber and Lyft is adamantly opposed to fingerprint background checks in Chicago because they claim it would racially discriminate against some community sections. So according to these companies they would rather hire convicted felons because they don't want to "offend" a criminal I stopped using them because the scary people who would show up at my driveway and smell of weed and tell me to get in. Your trusting a driver and their car and they could be a damn rapist for all you know No thanks

  3. Has anyone sent a letter to the state BCI or the FBI's Chicago field office? You would think a security guard impersonating a police officer might raise a few questions.

  4. Are you sure the man on the right of the photo isn't a real cop? I mean he tells everyone he is a chicago cop especially the younger gentlemen, and also asks bartenders for discounts on alcohol drinks because he's a cop which I don't if they know either ,and even carries his bullet proof vest into bars after working his shift and checks it in at coat check. I would be absolutely shocked if he isn't a true police officer cause its completely opposite of what he says and portrays

    1. Truly sad, he lists his occupation on his FB as "City of Chicago/ Agent" & has business cards saying same thing, s-c-a-r-y, I say give him a cop job and he'll work for free like Vincent Richardson

  5. Tunneys, Walsh, Rahm, the whole lot of them, would be brought up on charges in any other city, state, or jurisdiction other than Chicago. I hope they all go down.

    Don't be shocked about Tunneys not answering questions or communicating with you, CWB. They suck.

    1. This blog usually slams Tunney and the police - why would they respond at all?

    2. This blog usually slams Tunney and the police - why would they respond at all?
      We don't slam anyone. Facts:
      • CPD regularly communicates on a range of issues from internal affairs to routine inquiries and FOIAs.
      • The alderman's office openly communicated on a range of issues for a number of years UNTIL we started asking about the potential for issues with private security patrols. Once we pierced that dike, all communication ended on all topics.
      • By not communicating, the alderman is personally responsible for not getting his side of the story out. You see, communicating can give reporters mitigating information. It can reveal additional information.
      • Outlets that "slam" do not ask for input. We do ask—every time—even after a year of non-responsiveness. It's our duty to ask and we will not stop.

  6. Are they still licensed in IL?

  7. They will just change the name and continue to fleece the city. It's the Chicago Way to uphold the Chicago Values. Or stated another way crooked business as usual, as long as all the appropriate people are paid off.

  8. I bet Walsh is hungrily licking his chops, waiting to pounce on getting this contract for his "security company."

  9. This article doesn't mention that Monterrey Security also works at Soldier Field and Toyota Park.

  10. What other venues do they work?