|Monterrey CEO Juan Gaytán outside Wrigley Field | negociosnow.com|
A Chicago-based firm that provides security services for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Marathon, Lollapalooza, and other high-profile events is under state and federal investigation in Minneapolis, according to reports by KSTP television and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The investigations focus on allegations that Monterrey Security hired people with serious criminal convictions, falsified government documents, and that some of its employees have felony records but did not receive a proper security clearance, KSTP reported Monday. The allegations are apparently focused on the company’s year-old contract at Minneapolis’ new NFL stadium.
Minnesota’s Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board brought in the FBI because its investigation crosses state lines into Chicago, the TV report said.
Monterrey confirmed to KSTP that state authorities are looking into the company’s hiring practices. But Minnesota sports officials told the station that they were unaware of the FBI’s involvement.
|Screen shot of clients claimed by Monterrey Security in a promotional video. | Monterrey Security|
CWBChicago recently ran a series of reports about private security patrols in Lakeview that was sparked by the city’s inability to explain how authorities would verify that the Chicago Pride Parade would provide 160 certified off-duty police officers as promised last year.
News of the FBI’s involvement aired on KSTP exactly one year after Chicago Special Events Management evaded our question with a general statement about Pride Parade security:
“Our security service is license [sic], bonded and insured, 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.”
Monterrey provides security services in Chicago for the Cubs, Blackhawks, and Bears as well as the Chicago Marathon, according to the Star Tribune.
CWBChicago found privately-funded security patrols in Lakeview included people who were falsely billed as being off-duty or retired law enforcement; non-cops wearing CPD checkerboard devices and hats; a convicted felon working on a probationary state license after initially working with a revoked license; and a local security company that is operating with an expired state security contractor license. None of the issues involved Monterrey.
In Minnesota, the FBI is looking into “multiple allegations of falsifying security documents to reflect required security training for employees, despite the fact some of those employees did not complete their training,” KSTP said.
Monterrey denies the allegations.
“Monterrey Security can say, in the strongest terms possible, that it has never provided false information to any state agency for any facility it serves. That’s simply not true. We can say with full confidence that the hundreds of Minnesota residents currently employed by Monterrey Security have cleared all required background checks and work in positions they are qualified to work in.”
Monterrey’s Minneapolis services fell in the spotlight on New Year’s Day when two Dakota Access Pipeline protesters managed to climb onto rafters of the city’s new US Bank Stadium during an NFL game.
#NoDAPL protesters hung a sign from the rafters of US Bank Stadium during the Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Game. pic.twitter.com/Ad4vJh90uO
— Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) January 1, 2017
The protesters unfurled a banner from the rooftop beams and then dangled themselves on ropes from the overhead steel.
Demonstrator dangles from stadium ceiling during Bears-Vikings game in apparent Dakota Access protest: https://t.co/Fqsk72nDvP pic.twitter.com/rGUEb9yCbN
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) January 1, 2017
Minneapolis will host the Super Bowl at US Bank Stadium in February.
In addition to the reported state and federal probes, a Minnesota legislator has asked the state’s Legislative Auditor to conduct a full investigation of Monterrey, the TV station said.
State Representative Sarah Anderson said, “”I am floored. This goes right to the issue of the fact we have severe security issues that are at stake here.”
Anderson is the chair of the Minnesota House State Government Finance Committee.
She said allegations of criminal background check irregularities are “alarming when people are anticipating their security they are certainly expecting that those individuals have had a background check and that they are qualified individuals who’ve had the training,” she said.