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Long IslandPolitics

Islip tables vote on airport security contract

The Islip Town Board Tuesday tabled a vote on a contract for security at Long Island MacArthur Airport after learning that the bid winner was under state scrutiny after a series of violations.

Newsday reported Tuesday that Arrow Security, the Bohemia-based company selected by the airport as the lowest responsible bidder, had recently been fined $9,000 for violations including "failure to do due diligence" and several years ago had been fined for employing unregistered security guards.

"There are some questions concerning the responsible bidder who appears to have won the contract," said Islip Town Attorney Robert Quinlan before a unanimous vote to table the issue until later this month. "These are significant matters, and we want to make sure that the information we were provided was accurate."

The board voted to hold a special meeting before July 31, when the airport's current security contract with U.S. Security Associates expires.

After the meeting, MacArthur spokeswoman Catherine Green said the airport, which is operated by Islip Town, had followed state and town procedures in its bid process. She declined to comment further on how Arrow Security had been selected, saying the selection process is under investigation.

In an e-mail after the meeting, Arrow Security's general counsel, Lorin Rosen Streim, said: "I am confident we will be able to provide the Town of Islip with anything and everything they need in order to move forward with the execution of the contract."

State records show that Arrow in 2002 pleaded no-contest and paid a fine of $130,000 for employing 124 unregistered security guards and 30 guards who were not listed as being employed by Arrow Security.

Arrow Security owner Alexander Caro said a paperwork delay was to blame.

New York's Department of State on July 3 charged the company with 18 violations resulting in a fine of $9,000.

The charges include having three security guards who were not registered as working for the company, two vice presidents who were not registered as company officers and "failure to do due diligence" for paperwork discrepancies in the personnel files of nine guards, according to John Goldman, a Department of State investigator.

Caro said his company hasn't paid the fine and has filed paperwork disputing the charges.

The state investigation was prompted by an episode starting in December when the company placed a registered sex offender at an evening adult education program in the Hempstead school district.

The company was legally permitted to assign the guard pending a state fingerprint analysis, and state officials said that Arrow Security had been cleared of any wrongdoing with regard to its handling of the sex offender, who was fired two months later when the state completed the check.

The New York Department of State, which regulates security companies, now processes fingerprint checks within a few days, department spokesman Joel Barkin said.

Barkin, who noted that Arrow Security also paid a $5,500 fine for violations in 2005, said the company has been "improving" since its $130,000 fine in 2002.

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