Civilian Police International employee pleads guilty to engaging in "kick-backs" in Afghanistan.

An employee of CPI, a Virginia based private security consulting firm, plead guilty yesterday to soliciting a kick-back on a USAID private security contract.

In August 2006, USAID awarded a $1.4 billion contract known as the Afghanistan Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project. The Virginia company, Civilian Police International are one of the companies benefitting form that large contract as they provide training to Afghan Police Officers.

Ryan Scott McMonigle of Oklahoma, worked for CPI in Kabul. He admitted that he assisted in the solicitation of a kick back from a private security vendor involved with protecting USAID personnel and contractors under the AIRP contract.

Ironically, CPI’s website states; “CPI stresses discipline, integrity, accountability, ethics…”

Or should that read….”getting contracts no matter what is involved”.

Research reveals disgusting results

The next time you go to a restaurant, you may want to consider ordering a drink that comes out of a bottle or can. This ABC news report reveals that you may be getting something in your drink that you had not bargained for.

The research found that fountain drinks being served in Roanoke, Virginia, contained Coliform Bacteria – or bacteria associated with fecal matter. 70% of beverages had bacteria contamination and nealry half, 48%, had Coliform Bacteria contamination.

The water supply was tested, but it was not to blame, so the conclusion was that the soda fountain lines became contaminated from lack of proper maintainance. There is nothing particularly unique about Roanoke – if it is happening there, it could happen anywhere.

Roland Burris – Guilty by Association?

Last month, Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested on corruption charges. This month he is being impeached. Is he the type of person you would want endorsing you for a position?

Apparently Roland Burris believes he is. Then again Mr. Burris appears to be gambling on the fact that he will get in just under the wire on this one. Another would-be Senator already turned down Blagojevich’s offer.

It is quite likely that Mr. Burris was not involved in any dealings with the troubled Gov. Most people appear to speak very highly of him amd say that he is a good man. That still will not stop his name and appointment from being tainted as he has been selected by a man facing alleged corruption and impeachment problems.

As a security instructor, I regularly bring these points up for discussion. It is a fact of life that if you associate with a criminal, you will be viewed as a criminal even if you are as honest as the day is long.

I once had a protective assignment running for a client at four different locations 24/7. It took a lot of manpower and a while to find out which personalities fitted in where. One guy thought he was in charge when he wasn’t and eventually I had to spell it out for him that he had to follow the rules like everyone else.

He wasn’t able to take being told what to do so he quit. I was able to handle one troublesome person quitting, that was no bother. What happened next though threatened my whole operation.

I discovered through the grapevine (the world of Executive Protection is quite small, even on a Global scale) that he had gone to work for a convicted criminal. That is professional suicide as no decent, self respecting company would ever hire someone like that as he couldn’t possibly trusted.

The criminal’s new employee then called the guys on my big detail a few days after landing his new job. He advised them that they could make $50 per day more if they left my assignment and went to work for the criminal. A couple of thm approached and said they were thinking of doing it as it meant an extra couple hundred dollars over the course of a week.

I told them that I could not stop them, but if they did go and work for the criminal and my ex-employee that they would never be allowed to work for me again as their professional reputations would be tainted beyond repair. Thankfully they took heed and stayed. The ex-employee was fired by the criminal and has been an outcast in private security in Virginia and the surrounding areas ever since.

Reputations are fragile and while they can be nurtured to grow strong, they can very easily be damaged beyond recognition. Treat yours well as it is the only one you have.

Attention – Lawyers and Private Investigators!

Lawyers are always in need of process servers to serve civil papers. More often than not, they use the services of a Private Investigator or process service company.

If the P.I. or process server is credible and ethical, there should not be a problem. If on the other hand, the server “claims” to have served the paper, charges the Law Firm for services rendered but does not actually effect the necessary service, it could be the makings of a significant lawsuit. This is what happened in Massachusetts.

The plaintiff in that casewas awarded $3,000,000.00 when the State Court ruled that the Bermuda businessman, Donald P.Lines, had not been served by the company hired to effect the service, Boston based “Stokes & Levin”. It later transpired that the company had used pre-fabricated stamps of the signature of a process server who no longer worked for the company. It did not enhance the image of the Securities and Exchange Commission either as the SEC were the ones who hired “Stokes & Levin”.

I have heard stories of one elderly P.I. in Virginia who gets confused when he serves civil papers and sometimes puts the same time on two different papers even when they are served 20 miles or more apart. Yet, he continues to get requests for service from lawyers that he has known a while. I hope this story serves as a reminder to him and those who hire him that you stand to lose a lot if you don’t get it right – both in reputation and finacial terms. There’s no shame in hanging up the gun belt when the sun starts to set on your career. It’s always better to go out a winner than a defendant.