DENVER — Denver's Dept. of Excise and Licenses said Monday that it has grounds to revoke or suspend the licenses of two security companies that the city said arranged for an unlicensed security guard who has subsequently been charged with second-degree murder following the fatal, Oct. 10 shooting of a man at dueling Denver rallies.
The two companies — Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations and Isborn Security Services — will defend their licenses at separate hearings, both scheduled for Dec. 8.
An independent hearing officer will listen to testimony and evidence from the Denver City Attorney’s Office, witnesses, investigators and the licensees. The hearing officer will also review evidence and issue a recommended decision, according to a department spokesperson.
From there, Department of Excise and Licenses Executive Director Ashley Kilroy will issue a decision after reviewing the recommended decision on whether the security guard employer licenses should be revoked. Both companies can appeal that decision if they wish, Excise and Licenses said.
The announcement comes after the Dept. of Excise and Licenses on Nov. 4 issued a citation to the security firms.
Matthew Dolloff, 30, was formally charged with second-degree murder on Oct. 19.
Dolloff was contracted through the company Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.
> Video above: Video shows moments before, during and after shooting.
Dolloff was not licensed to provide security services as required in the City and County of Denver, the department said in its announcement. City law defines a security guard as “a person employed or engaged by a private security employer to perform security services.”
Pinkerton on its Facebook page previously issued a statement shortly after the shooting of 49-year-old Lee Keltner, saying:
9NEWS management released the following statement:
"Pinkerton, the company 9NEWS contracted with, is responsible for ensuring the appropriate licensing of its guards or those it contracts with. 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel. 9NEWS had directed Pinkerton that security guards accompanying our personnel not be armed, and none of the 9NEWS’ crew accompanied by Mr. Dolloff on Saturday were aware that he was armed. 9NEWS no longer uses Pinkerton to provide security."
Dolloff was issued a concealed carry permit in June 2018, which was viable for five years, according to Elbert County Sheriff Tim Norton. Norton said he suspended the permit shortly after the shooting.
The Dept. of Excise and Licenses' announcement came one day after Dolloff posted a $500,000 bond and was released from the Downtown Detention Center.
Dolloff was arrested on Oct. 10 following the shooting near the Denver Art Museum. It happened near the end of two dueling demonstrations that included members of Black Lives Matter and other groups on one side, as well as people attending what they dubbed a “Patriot Muster.”
According to the probable cause (PC) statement released by the Denver Police Department Tuesday, Keltner and another individual engaged in a "verbal dispute" and "both men yelled and postured" while walking with a group around 3:30 p.m. near the DAM during the rally. Witnesses told investigators they believed "the men may engage in a physical altercation," the PC statement says.
Keltner was then observed holding a bottle of OC spray prior to striking Dolloff in the side of the head with an open hand following an altercation in front of the DAM, according to the PC statement.
Dolloff then pulled a gun from his waistband and fired one shot at the same time Keltner sprayed the OC spray, the PC statement says. Keltner immediately collapsed, the PC statement says, and officers quickly took custody of Dolloff.
Keltner was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead at 4:05 p.m., the PC statement says.
Keltner, reportedly a Navy veteran, worked as a hatter and was also a part of Colorado’s motorcycle community. The Biker Down Charity has started a fundraiser for his family, describing him as a husband, father and friend to many.
Doug Richards, an attorney for the Dolloff family, said in a statement:
"Matt was acting in self-defense. Matt put his life and now his liberty in between the now-deceased and the 9NEWS employee. This was not a political assignment for Matt. This was simply Matt protecting your employee.”
9NEWS management released the following statement about the incident on Oct. 12:
“9NEWS continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement and is deeply saddened by this loss of life.
“For the past few months, it has been the practice of 9NEWS to contract private security, through an outside firm, to accompany our personnel covering protests. Pinkerton, the private security firm, is responsible for ensuring its guards or those it contracts with are appropriately licensed. 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel.”
An additional statement from 9NEWS management was released Oct. 13:
"As stated [Oct. 12], 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel. 9NEWS contracted with Pinkerton and had directed that security guards accompanying our personnel not be armed. None of 9NEWS’ crew accompanied by Mr. Dolloff on Saturday were aware that he was armed.”
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