CHICAGO (FOX 32 / BGA) - Call it a Cicero mystery.
A brand-new security company that employs a person with close ties to town president, Larry Dominick, suddenly started getting contracts from Cicero agencies, but nobody will talk about how it happened.
FOX 32 and the Better Government Association have been digging into the contracts that are costing Cicero taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. And as FOX 32’s Investigative Reporter Dane Placko reports, the story starts with a man who describes himself as Larry Dominick’s bodyguard.
Meet Serge Rocher, who’s a longtime community service officer for the town of Cicero, making $72,000 a year. He not a cop, but wears a uniform and provides security at Cicero board meetings, among other duties, which according to Rocher's resume include being the head of "executive protection for Cicero's town president" Larry Dominick.
Rocher also works as a salesman for a brand new company called Gamma Team Security, which is located in north suburban Northbrook.
But here's what caught FOX 32’s attention: FOX 32 and the BGA have learned that just months after incorporating in 2014, Gamma Team was awarded no bid contracts to provide security for Cicero Public School District 99 and the town of Cicero's Clyde Park District, which are both contracts worth thousands of dollars a month.
"It just raises a lot of questions. The officials in those districts won't tell us why they hired Gamma, what the connection is, how this firm even came to know that these contracts were available. There's some real transparency issues here,” said Andrew Schroedter of the BGA.
Indeed, when FOX 32 went to Clyde Park to talk to director Anthony Martinucci, we couldn’t find him.
FOX 32: "Dane with Fox 32 looking for Mr. Martinucci."
Woman: "He's not in the building."
FOX 32: "He's not? We've left multiple messages to talk to him."
FOX 32 did find a posting for the Clyde Park District board, which said "next regular board meeting February 22nd."
But when FOX 32 returned on that day, another message said the board meeting had been canceled.
So, FOX 32 went door to door looking for board members to explain the contract.
So far, nobody's responded.
And it's the same story at Cicero District 99, where FOX 32 found Gamma Team employees but no one willing to talk.
At Gamma Team headquarters, owner Wolf Iklov never returned FOX 32’s calls.
And Serge Rocher himself disappeared when FOX 32 showed up at the Cicero Town Hall meeting.
A spokesman for president Dominick says despite what Rocher says, Dominick does not use a bodyguard and denies the president had anything to do with the other Cicero agencies giving his buddy a contract.
"There's nothing that's being done that's wrong. Everything's being done on the up and up. And he's not involved in clouting or pushing a company on any other agency. He hasn't done it,” said Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania.
By the way, the vice president of the Clyde Park District is brain Dominick, who is Larry Dominick’s son. And on the board at District 99 is Derek Dominick, who is another son.
"This isn't cups and paper. It's security and it's a critical service. And they apparently won these deals without having to go through a competitive bidding process, so I think Cicero taxpayers don't know for sure if this is the best firm, if the best firm is doing the work,” said Schroedter.
So what's this contract costing Cicero taxpayers? According to records FOX 32 obtained through Freedom of Information Act, the park district is paying Gamma Team about $4500 a month for security and District 99 paid the company more than $10,000 for the month of November alone.