Thursday, October 18, 2018
News Roundup

State slaps $150,000 fine on security firm that employed Orlando Pulse shooter Omar Mateen

When Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen applied for a security job in 2007, he first had to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The company that hired him, G4S, told the state that a doctor gave Mateen a clean bill of mental health.

But after the June killings opened Mateen's life to nationwide scrutiny, the doctor named on formal state documents said she never met Mateen. She had sold her practice and was living in Colorado when he applied for the job.

G4S acknowledged that a different doctor did the examination and called the mixup a "clerical error."

But state records released Friday show that same error happened hundreds of times.

G4S listed Dr. Carol Nudelman as the psychiatrist of record on at least 1,500 applications after she left the state, leading to an investigation and large fine by the Florida Department of Agriculture.

State officials filed paperwork seeking a $150,000 fine from G4S, saying the company essentially rubber stamped the mental evaluations of people seeking to become armed guards.

CHOICE AND CHANCE: A gunman enters Orlando's Pulse nightclub; those in his path have only a heartbeat to react (3D interactive)

A spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture said that the agency believes the guards received mental health screenings but G4S listed the incorrect psychiatrist. The practice continued for almost a decade, according to the state.

A G4S spokeswoman said the company "cooperated fully" with the state's investigation and took steps to make sure the "error would not be repeated."

Nudelman's attorney, G. Taylor Wilson, said she would not answer questions and that his law firm was continuing its own investigation.

Nudelman did "character certifications" for the security company but sold her practice to Dr. Joanne Bauling-Ciminero at Headquarters for Psychological Evaluation in January 2006.

Mateen wasn't given the evaluation until September 2007.

Bauling-Ciminero did not return a phone call Friday night.

Before he killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub on June 12, Mateen was a G4S security guard for about nine years. Licensing records show he was a proficient shooter who scored in the 98th percentile with the same caliber weapon — a 9mm semiautomatic pistol — used in the Orlando slayings. Mateen also used a semi-automatic rifle inside the nightclub.

He worked at the St. Lucie County Courthouse and later at the guard gate at the PGA Village neighborhood in western Port St. Lucie. A colleague, Daniel Gilroy, told the Tampa Bay Times that Mateen brought a prayer mat to work but had a "vulgar mouth" and was deeply resentful of minorities and women.

He was quick to anger, Gilroy said, and used slurs to describe gay people, blacks, Jews and women.

"He never used other words to describe them," Gilroy said. "Oh, he hated women. He thought they were objects, he thought they shouldn't be allowed to drive, he thought he should have his pick."

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