Trotter's Moonlighting Alibi Puts Security Firm in Crosshairs Of Probe
CHICAGO — The pistol-packing misadventure at O’Hare Airport that landed state Sen. Donne Trotter in a lockup facing felony gun charges has spawned a separate investigation into the politically connected security company Trotter said employs him as an armed guard, DNAinfo.com Chicago has learned.
Law enforcement sources say the investigation will likely look into whether Trotter, who makes nearly $90,000 a year as senator, really does moonlight as a security guard for Allpoints Security and Detective Inc., 2110 1/2 E. 71st St.
And a separate state probe has been launched to determine if the Southeast Side security firm has acted as a “front” to procure firearm control cards for people who are not employed as armed guards, according a source close to the investigation.
Allpoints Security is a certified minority- and women-owned business owned by Sharon Benson. The company employs uniformed and undercover security officers and offers mobile patrols, construction site surveillance, and personal and “VIP escort” security, according to the firm’s website.
Trotter completed firearms training and was licensed as a security guard in May 2011, according to public records.
In March, at Allpoints Security’s request, the state issued Trotter a “firearm control card,” a license that allows the senator to carry a handgun while working as a security guard and traveling between the job and home.
But Trotter did not list his employment with Allpoints Security on statement of economic interest forms filed with the state.
Trotter did, however, accept campaign cash from Allpoints Security, which is represented by the lobbying firm Chico & Nunes, which is run by state board of education chairman Gerry Chico.
Allpoints has received more than $350,000 in city of Chicago contracts since 2007 and donated more than $40,000 to political campaigns since 2002, public records show.
Those contributions include $500 to Trotter’s campaign war chest and $1,500 to the 7th Ward Independent Political Organization — a campaign fund run out of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s South Shore political office, which lists Trotter among the candidates it supports, according to campaign finance reports.
Neither Benson nor Allpoints senior procurement executive Eddie Jones, who sources say is Trotter’s close friend, returned messages seeking comment.
Trotter, who recently announced plans to run for the Congressional seat vacated by Jackson Jr., was arrested when an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta and a clip loaded with bullets turned up in his carry-on luggage at an airport security checkpoint Wednesday.
The South Side Democrat showed TSA agents a valid firearm owners identification card.
He also told investigators that the gun was legally registered, but a search of handgun records shows it was not, prosecutors said.
Trotter claimed he forgot to unpack the handgun and bullets from his garment bag after working the late shift for Allpoints Security the night before.
He was charged with attempting to board an aircraft with a weapon, a felony, and released from custody on $25,000 bond. Trotter is set to return to court for a hearing on Dec. 12.
Trotter, who told reporters late Thursday that he still plans to run for Congress, did not respond to repeated messages seeking comment.
Contributing: Darryl Holliday