Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why the Pulse Nightclub Shooter's Employer Was Fined $151,000

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why the Pulse Nightclub Shooter's Employer Was Fined $151,000

Article excerpt

Three months after Omar Mateen carried out one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history, killing 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, his employer has been fined $151,400 for filing inaccurate forms with Florida officials.

Following last June's massacre, investigators tracked down the psychologist whose name appeared on a document affirming that Mr. Mateen had passed an evaluation authorizing him to carry a gun. But the doctor said she'd never met Mateen.

The psychologist had retired, sold her practice, and moved out- of-state nearly two years before Mateen began working for the firm, G4S Secure Solutions, in 2007.

State officials subsequently found a total of 1,514 additional forms with the same error submitted by G4S on behalf of its employees between 2006 and 2016. At $100 per violation, the mistake resulted in the largest fine of its kind, the Sun Sentinel reported.

"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," the company said Friday in a statement.

The error occurred time and again because the company used preprinted forms that it failed to update when a new psychologist took over. Despite the administrative error, the evaluations were, in fact, carried out, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokeswoman Jennifer Meale said.

"While the forms were inaccurate, we are confident that psychological evaluations were conducted," Ms. Meale said.

The fact that Mateen passed his psychological evaluation is just one item in a long list that troubles policymakers and members of the public who look for disqualifying red flags in hopes of thwarting the next mass shooting.

Although the FBI investigated Mateen for possible connections to Muslim terrorists in 2013 and 2014, they closed those cases, concluding he was not a threat, FBI Director James Comey said. …

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