State investigates ex-IMG security manager

nalund@bradenton.comApril 15, 2009 

MANATEE — State officials are investigating a former security contractor at IMG Academies for reportedly working at the school’s Bradenton campus without a required license.

Robert Griffith, with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Licences, confirmed Darrold E. Termunde is under investigation but said he could not comment on the matter as the case is ongoing.

Bowles Corporate Services, a security agency based in New Jersey, is the company contracted to provide security for IMG’s 300-acre campus off 34th Street West. More than 12,000 youth and adult athletes receive training and instruction at IMG each year, according to the school’s Web site.

State records show Termunde was a regional operations manager for Bowles from Oct. 1 through at least Dec. 16.

During that time, he did not have a required “manager of a security agency” license, according to the Division of Licenses.

Termunde did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Attorney Clifford Ingber, of Greenwich, Conn., who represents Bowles, wrote in an e-mail that the company is licensed to provide security services in Florida and has never been found in violation of the state statute that governs private security.

“(Since Oct. 1) there have been no serious security incidents or breaches reported at IMG Academies,” Ingber wrote in the e-mail.

He did not respond to questions, including whether Termunde is still employed by Bowles or why the company reportedly hired him even though he did not have a license.

An IMG spokesman said the school is monitoring the state investigation.

To obtain a security manager license, a person must have either at least three years experience working in security, law enforcement experience or a degree in criminal justice, Griffith said.

Applicants cannot have a felony record. Those found to be working without a license face fines of up to $1,000 a day they worked unlicensed, Griffith said. Companies that employ the person can also be held liable, he added.

Records show Termunde in June applied for a state license.

In August, authorities mailed him a letter stating that the department had received information that he had been arrested for a crime that could make him ineligible for a license. The department, according to the Aug. 13 letter, asked Termunde to submit documentation of his arrest.

But he never turned over that information, according to a Nov. 20 letter to Termunde from John McCarthy, the assistant director of the Division of Licensing.

The letter goes on to state that his employment “must be terminated immediately” or his employer may reassign him to duties that do not require licensure or registration.

A Dec. 16, an affidavit from Bowles shows that Termunde was no longer listed as a company manager.

IMG spokesman Chris Ciacco said IMG officials received an anonymous letter that Bowles was working without a license and opened an investigation.

When IMG contacted Bowles, he said, it learned there was “an issue” with Termunde’s license. Ciacco said he did not know what date the tip came in or when IMG contacted Bowles.

“Bowles was taking action to resolve the issue and appointed someone else to take on his managerial responsibilities,” Ciaccio said.

“He (Termunde) was immediately banned from campus.”

As of Tuesday, Bowles was still IMG’s security contractor.

“The safety and security of students is our No. 1 priority,” Ciaccio said Tuesday.

According to the IMG Web site, the academy’s front entrance is gated and no one is allowed in without proper identification. The campus is monitored by security 24 hours a day.

Ciaccio said IMG has not had any previous issues with Bowles, and that it hired the company with the knowledge they have “an A+ rating” as a security agency.

IMG officials, he said, will keep an eye on the state’s investigation into Termunde. Prior to Bowles’ Oct. 1 start date with IMG, the campus was policed by U.S. Security, Ciaccio said.

Former Bowles security officers, including Terry Johnson, said despite Bowles removing Termunde’s manager title in mid-December, he continued to carry out managerial duties.

On about Dec. 26, Termunde demoted Johnson from the rank of major to officer, Johnson said.

“He personally met with me at a restaurant and told me I was fired as major for reasons including I had a number of illnesses,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Termunde said he could stay employed as an officer, so he worked as an officer until he left Feb. 26.

“He continued to assume the duties of a manager,” Johnson said. “He’d be in at least twice a week ... go in and check in on how things were going.”

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