Denver revokes Pinkerton’s license in connection with fatal rally shooting

Denver officials revoked Pinkerton’s license to operate as a security guard company in the city in connection with a fatal shooting by an unlicensed guard subcontracted by the firm at a political rally last year.

Pinkerton failed to ensure that the guard, Matthew Dolloff, had the required license he needed to work in security in Denver, Ashley Kilroy, executive director of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, ruled Monday.

Denver television channel 9News contracted with Pinkerton for security services for its journalists covering an Oct. 10 “Patriot Rally” in Civic Center. Pinkerton subcontracted the work to Isborn Security Services, which contracted with Dolloff.

Dolloff shot and killed a rally attendee, Lee Keltner, during a confrontation in which Keltner used pepper spray.

Denver requires security guards to obtain an individual license to work in the city and requires companies to obtain an employer license. Dolloff did not have a license or the additional certification required to carry a gun while working security.

Pinkerton contracted with Isborn Security even though Isborn Security told Pinkerton it had no system of quality control or for managing the performance of its guards, Kilroy found.

“Because the Respondent ignored the response that Isborn was not verifying licensing status and failed to ensure that Mr. Dolloff was licensed, actual harm came to the public,” Kilroy wrote in the order.

Pinkerton is liable for its subcontractors’ acts and failures, Kilroy found. She previously rejected a proposed settlement between Pinkerton and the city. She overrode a hearing officer’s recommendation of a six-month suspension of Pinkerton’s license and instead implemented the revocation.

Isborn Security Services in December agreed to surrender its security guard employer license in a settlement with the city.

Denver prosecutors charged Dolloff with second-degree murder in the shooting, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He remains free on $500,000 bond while the court case proceeds.

Denver is one of a few municipalities in Colorado that require security guard licensing. There is no statewide regulation of the industry, which employs thousands.

The revocation of Pinkerton’s license is the seventh time the city has revoked or suspended a security company’s license since 2015, said Eric Escudero, spokesman for the Department of Excise and Licenses.

The city has licensed 215 security companies to operate in Denver as well as 5,975 individual security guards.

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