Rosemont denies corruption allegations in response to report of FBI inquiry

  • Questions over a no-bid contract for private security at Rosemont venues such as the Allstate Arena and allegations of corruption in the village's public safety department were labeled "hearsay" Friday by village officials.

      Questions over a no-bid contract for private security at Rosemont venues such as the Allstate Arena and allegations of corruption in the village's public safety department were labeled "hearsay" Friday by village officials. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, May 2017

  • Brad Stephens

    Brad Stephens

 
 
Updated 7/26/2019 7:04 PM

The FBI has questioned current and former Rosemont employees about a no-bid security contract and allegations of corruption in the public safety department, according to a published report, but village officials Friday called it "hearsay."

The article published online Friday morning by the Chicago Sun-Times, citing unnamed sources, reports that FBI agents have asked employees about the 2015 agreement the village inked with Monterrey Security Consultants to provide security at venues including the Allstate Arena, Rosemont Theatre and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The FBI has also interviewed people about the public safety department, including whether members illegally used and distributed narcotic painkillers, according to the article. Sources told the newspaper about off-duty fights, steroid use and excessive-force incidents that yielded no punishment.

An FBI spokeswoman on Friday said she could not confirm or deny the existence of any pending investigation.

Mayor Brad Stephens, who also was appointed state representative last month to the 20th House district vacancy, said the FBI hasn't called him and that he's not aware of agents contacting any current village employees.

A follow-up written statement provided by a village spokesman said the newspaper piece was "fraught with uncorroborated sources and unsubstantiated charges and includes inaccuracies," adding that they "appear to originate from disgruntled former employees."

Stephens said during an interview Friday that the village plans to issue a request for proposals to private security firms by the end of the year, though he said he's pleased with Monterrey's performance and defended the initial selection of the firm in 2015. Despite the village's long history of no-bid deals and awarding contracts to favored contractors, Stephens said the village next week also intends to seek proposals for paramedic services.

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With an eye toward reducing costs and liability, Rosemont officials decided to outsource security at its village-owned venues in 2015. They went with Monterrey after hearing good reviews from Bears officials who hired the firm to provide security at Soldier Field, Stephens said.

The village previously kept some 90 sworn or retired police officers from Rosemont and other towns on call as so-called "security specialists" to handle off-duty work at the village venues. Under the deal with Monterrey, those employees get first crack at the part-time security jobs.

Stephens also said Friday, while denying any systemic problems with the public safety force, that the department is in the final stages of selecting an agency to conduct drug testing of officers.

Allegations of drug use, including steroids, within the department previously surfaced in a 2013 lawsuit by a former commander, Frank Siciliano, who alleged he was forced out after filing a workers' compensation claim for a back injury and refusing to cover up misconduct. A federal judge ruled the case should be heard in Cook County circuit court, where the lawsuit was later dismissed in 2015.

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