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Buckeye police chief's side business raises ethical, legal concerns

Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 21:32:11-05

The Buckeye police chief is being accused of unethical conduct for running a side private security business with at least one subordinate officer.  

Chief Larry Hall founded Blue Knights Securities Group LLC with a top Buckeye sergeant, records show.

The company, Blue Knights Securities Group LLC, is also unlicensed, which may violate state law.

Concerns over Hall’s side business were raised in an anonymous lettersent to the City Manager and City Council in September.

The letter outlined a long list of specific allegations against a handful of top Buckeye police officials that include accusations of falsified crime statistics, covered up misconduct, and the misuse of taxpayer funds.

As a result, the city hired an outside investigator to probe the allegations.

“Due to the fact that this is an ongoing administrative investigation, I can't comment on any aspect of it,” Hall said in an email to ABC15.

ABC15 has spoken to multiple sources who also raised concerns over the side company and Hall’s business partnership with Sgt. Gary McGeogh.

The sources cite ethical concerns surrounding a police chief sharing a financial interest with subordinate officers outside of the police department. McGeogh also runs the Buckeye Police Internal Investigations unit; and sources told ABC15 his financial ties to Hall create a concerning conflict of interest.

In Arizona, private security companies must be licensed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. An online search showed no licenses for Blue Knights Securities Group, Hall, and McGeogh.

DPS officials confirmed there were no licenses for the company or officials.

Operating a private security company without a license is a class 1 misdemeanor, according to the DPS website.

ABC15 also checked neighboring states for licenses but was unable to find any.

Buckeye employees are required to get outside employment approved by the city manager. However, there’s a separate policy for police officers.

Officers get their outside work approved by the police chief, and that’s where this situation isn’t clear.

A city spokesperson said Hall and McGeogh were approved for outside work by the city. But the spokesperson couldn't provide the dates of those approvals or more specific information to ABC15 before deadline on Wednesday.

Hall became Chief in 2014, and the business was set up in 2013.

So it’s not clear if Hall and McGeogh’s outside employment was signed off by the previous chief, approved by Hall himself, or if the two got permission from the current city manager.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at