June 2005 Minutes |
NCAPI Meeting Minutes
June 18 2005
Welcome - Monty welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the membership for coming. He identified that we do require all cell phones to be either turned off or on mute. If you do need to take a call, please take the call outside the room. He identified we would start with our guest speaker.
Guest Speaker - Melissa Balk of Mang Insurance
Melissa has spoken to us before about insurance. Thalia requested she come back because she managed to save Thalia over $2000.00 on her recent renewal.
Melissa has identified that many times we as Private Investigators are being quoted insurance rates too high because we are misclassified.
Melissa also talked about the need for supplemental equipment policies, for those that either operate from home or house equipment at home. She identifies that most homeowner policies can, and do, exclude any equipment used for business. Check your policy to verify.
General Liability - Covers claims resulting from the insured’s negligence.
- On and Off premises liability
- Bodily Injury and Property damage
- Personal & Advertising Injury
o Unlawful entry, libel & slander, false arrest
- Includes attorney fees, court costs & other expenses associated with defense of a lawsuit.
Check to see if excluded by personal & advertising injury. (We are most likely to be sued under this section)
E&O - Also know as Professional Liability
- Often included with general liability policy
- Covers “intangible” errors o Example: while conducting a background check of a client’s employee, an investigator forgets to check the employee’s MVR and does not discover the bad driving record. The employee then causes a serious auto accident on company time. The accident victim then sues the client. The client then sues the investigator for failure to check the MVR.
Beware of policies that exclude:
- Personal and Advertising injury - Errors & Omissions / Professional Liability
- Assault and Battery
o Intentional acts
o May be included only if using “reasonable force” to protect persons or property.
Melissa identified that the liability premiums are based on payroll of the company. The very least payroll it can be based on is $24,800 even if you don’t produce that much payroll. They will assign the $24,800.
Melissa also identifies that she is able to write Worker’s Compensation insurance, not through the state fund.
Back to the Homeowners policy question, according to the experts, if you have even 1 work document on the home computer, the computer is not covered by your homeowner’s policy.
Secretary’s Report - Christine Covington
Christine identified that she will be sending another invitation to those members who have not yet joined the newsgroup. Please take the time to accept the invitation. It takes more effort and time that you realize to go back and research who is and is not on the newsgroup.
Motion to accept.
Treasurer’s Report - Marti Miller
Marti identified we have the following in our accounts:
$ 808.30 Pac Fund
$ 3,515.00 Lobbyist Fund
Marti is planning to have another discussion with the bank housing the Lobbyist Fund. They keep trying to charge a $5.00 inactivity fee. We clear it up and then a couple of months later, they appear again.
Marti identified that we have sent a donation, as per board vote, to the NCISS. She sent a check for $640.00 ($500. donation plus $1 per member as dues)
Motion to accept.
Ethics & By-Laws - Larry Flannery
Larry wanted to remind us that if we find out about unlicensed activity, please notify Larry so that he can file a complaint on behalf of the association.
Unlicensed activity - does the association contact the unlicensed individual?
Monty believes we should only be directly involved with member issues.
However, contact us with any unlicensed activity and we will report it show your information will not appear on the complaint.
Motion to accept.
Training & Education - Thalia Ellis
Unarmed guard manual (Mr. Miles was upset with the format of the new manual). He wants the format to be in military format. He wants to send the manual to the Army for review.
Mr. Miles states he never received a copy of the manual. He is set to receive a copy.
We also presented the Basic Investigative Technique 40 hour course.
We developed the concept of the 40-hour training course to combat the raising of the minimum hours from 3000 to either 4500 or 6000 hours.
Grady Connor has now objected that the community colleges would not be able to deal with only 400 associates. We have explained that we have been in close contact with the community colleges and they have been nothing but supportive of the idea.
We are proposing to start with just Associates.
On Thursday morning, Ruth and Thalia went to the Senate about S1434.
They were concerned about Rule 4 of Civil Process allowing electronic signatures.
NAPPS contacted Ruth Reynolds with their concerns about the bill.
They discussed with Senator Philip Berger, Senator John Garwood, Senator Hamilton Horton, and Senator Daniel Clodfelter our concerns with the pending legislature. This bill has already been through 1 committee.
Eddie Caldwell is for the bill on behalf of the Sheriff’s Association.
Senator Clodfelter wants the NCAPI position and any objections.
We need to find out what everyone feels about the bill.
Thalia wanted to find out what our feedback is on the Hampton Inn.
Motion to accept.
Membership - Ted Gartman
Our current membership is 181, plus 16 Associate/Staff Memberships. We also have 2 new members today.
Carolina Superconference – We wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that traveled to Myrtle Beach to take part in the Superconference. You helped to make this a great experience.
Ted wanted to take a moment to welcome new members:
Harley Susan Sanders
Credentials – Bubba Russo and Bill Potwin from Smith Addressing registered everyone and provided professional ID cards for the conference. They are still working with the PPSB towards possible professional credentials.
Wayne Woodard went to bat when the government said “No” to the new credentials. He has since gotten their approval for the credentials.
Thank you letters – Ted identified that he wrote several letters to vendors and speakers on behalf of the NCAPI thanking them for their attendance.
Membership Certificates - Ted identified that since Christine will be very busy with personal issues (birth of her baby) around the time of the annual conference, he will be working on next years certificates. He identified that in previous years, Jeff Covington, has been helping by designing our membership certificates. He wanted to thank Jeff for all of his time and work. He really feels that Christine has quite enough to keep up with these certificates should be the responsibility of who ever holds his current position on the board. If anyone has expertise in this area and would like to volunteer to give a crack at it, please contact Ted.
Continuing Education - Ted met with Brandon Perron concerning the Investigative Techniques section of the PI Curriculum for community colleges. Brandon expressed an interest in producing a DVD for instructors for this section, which could be complemented by his text. His Component Method to Investigation is very flexible and can be structured for the General PI in addition to the Criminal Investigator.
Motion to Accept.
Presidents Report - Monty Clark
Continuing Education – Since a new member raised the question why we are going to have required CE.
Monty explained that in the early 80’s the Association hired Southern Strategies as a lobbyist. They took over our Association funds (current and future funds). A contract was signed for all dues and fundraisers to go to Southern Strategies. They then proceeded to try lobby for CE. Their plans were to include the cost, paid to them, of approximately $300-500 per PI.
Southern Strategies was going to handle everything. They had 18 months to get 74C altered to require CE.
It took the Association time and effort to dislodge Southern Strategies.
The main driving force for obtaining CE is Reciprocity. Other states have CE and we don’t. In many cases, they want CE in order to allow reciprocity.
In 1984, we began having 2 seminars per year as an Association. This provided our members education that benefited our members and the industry.
The seminars also began to show the PPSB that the NCAPI is capable of providing quality training. The PPSB has since approved the NCAPI to provide CE.
The NCAPI board has been working very hard for the last 10 years to improve our industry.
Motion to Accept.
Rick Eatmon spoke to us about his current situation with the police.
He gave a brief history.
On 25th May, he was arrested by Highway Patrol. He had been pulled over for failing to give a signal while changing lanes. The charges eventually expanded to carrying concealed weapons (even thought he has the civilian Concealed permits and the PPSB carry conceal permit) and obstruction and delaying an officer.
He had been hired to conduct an investigation and during the course of the investigation his client’s wife was linked to a Sergeant David Hawkins. Sergeant Hawkins has a daughter on the Highway Patrol, amazingly the HP officer that pulled Rick over for failure to use a signal.
While the HP was pulling Rick over, Rick contacted Captain Ken Castelloe, Director of Internal Affairs for the NC Highway Patrol. He had Captain Castelloe on the speaker during the entire encounter.
Rick was approached by Trooper Stephanie Young, (Sgt. Hawkins daughter), who demanded his license and registration. He provided his credential case with his PI identification, his driver’s license and his Carry Conceal permits. He identified at that time he had weapons on board.
She demanded his registration card. He identified it was in his glove compartment. She stated she was going to run is license and she would look at his registration when she returned. (While running the license, another Trooper arrived).
Rick had a tape recorder running in the vehicle during the stop and while Trooper Young was back at her vehicle he video taped talking on her cell phone.
After returning to the vehicle, she asked if he had located his registration. He identified he had. She then removed him from the vehicle and placed him under arrest.
The Troopers wanted permission to search the vehicle, Rick declined. The Troopers proceeded to search his vehicle. They were both observed going through his briefcase and a dozen or so of his investigative files. They went through the video camera bag and were observed looking at all of the names on the tapes.
Trooper Stone, a supervisor, arrived on scene. He observed the other Troopers search the vehicle. He was asked by Rick to secure his equipment and briefcase. Trooper Stone did secure the property.
Trooper Young returned to the patrol car and identified she would be transporting him to the Nash County Jail. While there, she became aware of the police radio traffic coming over Rick’s cell phone. She disconnected the call. During transportation to the jail, she identified she “has juice” and she is not concerned about Captain Castelloe.
Rick was taken before the Magistrate (Wilber Pendelton). The magistrate ordered Rick not to conduct an investigation involving David Hawkins or the client’s wife. He also stated Rick had no authority over law enforcement. He stated this was a direct order and named each of the officers present as witnesses.
The PPSB and the NCAPI are both standing by Rick in this situation.
Rick stated that the first hearing did not accomplish anything since Trooper failed to appear. (Even after being subpoenaed).
His next hearing is 14 July in Nash County.
There are currently internal investigations at both the Highway Patrol and Rocky Mount Police level.
Rick is currently anticipating going to trial to obtain discovery.
The District Attorney seems to want to drop the charges if Rick is willing to not make waves.
His attorney is currently advising against going to the press with the incident. It was discussed that there was a memo, by District Attorney Carl Fox, released in the late 80’s. It was sent to all Sheriff’s offices and identifying exactly what action could be taken when a PI was identified.
Another suggestion was for the attorney to subpoena the SBI/DCI information from when his tag was run. If run in violation of rules of use of law enforcement purpose, the fine could be $10,000.
It was also suggested that the Attorney subpoena all tickets issue by these Troopers for failure to signal for lane change.
Motion to Adjourn.
The list of Members present had gone missing, so I am unable to provide the list of members.