Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Department of Agriculture has levied the largest administrative fine of its type against security firm G4S.
The $151,000 fine involved the company turning in the wrong information for more than 1,500 psychological background checks involving applicants for temporary class “G” licenses, which allow security guards to carry firearms.
One of the background checks that had erroneous information was that of Pulse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, who worked for the company for nearly nine years.
A former G4S employee tells the I-Team the company also performed a flawed background check on him.
“It's sad that one man can destroy so many people's lives,” said Nick Plummer, describing Mateen.
Plummer believes Mateen should have never received a Florida Class “G” Security License, allowing him to work as an armed security guard.
In 2007, the Florida Department of Corrections fired Mateen after he threatened to bring a gun to work.
His ex wife also accused him of beating her
“He was mentally unstable, he was mentally ill,” she said after the shooting.
G4S co-worker Dan Gilroy says Mateen threatened him.
“He would yell and there were curse words involved in that,” he said. “And this wasn't seldom. It was almost all the time.”
The FBI questioned Mateen twice about potential ties to terrorism, but cleared him both times.
“To this day, I'm very troubled for all those souls lost there from a deranged person. And they did an extensive background check. It's a disgrace,” said Plummer.
The state says Mateen's background check contained an error.
In 2007, G4S sent a character certification form to the state, indicating Dr. Carol Nudelman performed Mateen's psychological background check.
But Nudelman no longer performed evaluations for G4S at that time and had moved to Colorado.
An investigation revealed her name appeared on 1,514 certifications she did not perform.
The state fined G4S $100 per instance.
“It's absolutely a farce when you see the risk involved. All the people out there today that could have guns and be so-called certified and they're not. It's frightening,” said Plummer.
In a statement, G4S spokesperson Monica Lewman-Garcia said:
“G4S cooperated fully with the Florida Department of Licensing investigation. Due to an administrative error, Dr. Nudelman's name appeared erroneously on license applications. As soon as this error became known to G4S, it immediately and publicly acknowledged that this was an administrative error and took measures to ensure that this error would not be repeated. It is important to note that all G4S security officers applying for a G License received a psychological assessment properly evaluated by a licensed psychologist. “
Plummer, who passed psychological exams for law enforcement and airline jobs, says he was not even allowed to complete G4S's psychological exam.
“It might have been maybe 15 minutes, then they took the test from me and the other guy and took it to the other room and I asked them later ‘How'd I do?’ They said ‘Oh, you passed,’” said Plummer.
Plummer believes he only completed about a third of that exam and doesn’t know who certified it.
“I didn't finish the test and bang, then I was hired,” he said.
G4S said of Plummer’s evaluation:
“Mr. Plummer, like all G4S security officers applying for a G License, received a psychological assessment that was properly evaluated by a licensed psychologist.”