DENVER — A Denver judge overturned a nearly year-old decision by the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses to revoke the Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations' private security guard employer license related to the hiring of an unlicensed security guard who was later involved in a deadly shooting.
The final decision by the department's Executive Direct Ashley Kilroy was issued in June 2021 following a hearing in February of that year which recommended a six-month suspension of Pinkerton's license.
Kilroy rejected that recommendation stating in her decision that "the mitigating and aggravating factors weigh in favor of revocation of license."
Pinkerton challenged it on five different grounds -- but Denver District Judge David Goldberg only ruled on one of them, which was the assertion by Pinkerton that Kilroy abused her discretion when interpreting the ordinance.
Goldberg ultimately agreed and "set aside and reversed" Pinkerton's license suspension. He declined to address the remaining arguments.
The security company had argued previously that its subcontractor, Isborn Security Services, was the one responsible for hiring Matthew Dolloff, who faced second-degree murder charges for the fatal shooting of 49-year-old Lee Keltner at dueling rallies outside the Denver Art Museum in downtown Denver on Oct. 10, 2020.
Dolloff was not licensed to provide security services as required in the City and County of Denver, according to the city’s Dept. of Excise and Licenses.
In March of this year, the Denver DA dropped the charges against Dolloff, whose attorneys said he was acting in self-defense when he shot Keltner.
A spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's office said they "fully considered the facts and circumstances" and felt they "are not able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
Dolloff was contracted through Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It had been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.
Following the shooting, 9NEWS management released the following statement about the incident on Oct. 12, 2020:
“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.”
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