Hillard Heintze’s investigation team includes a mental health expert, ex-Secret Service agents

(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)
(Southside Daily/Courtesy of the city of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH — City Auditor Lyndon Remias announced Wednesday that consulting firm Hillard Heintze was chosen to perform the third-party review in the May 31 mass shooting here.

There will be a public meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Building 19 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center to introduce members of the Hillard Heintze’s investigatory team.

The contract was signed Friday — with the intention to start the investigation July 23 upon the team’s arrival, city officials said. Next steps will be discussed at this meeting to include the company’s plan of action moving forward and to share how they can be contacted during the investigation.

Remias said the city is executing the contract so the company can start its work as soon as they are able and “way ahead” of the Aug. 15 deadline set in City Council’s resolution.

The company, which specializes in security risk management and preventing workplace violence, “offered the ‘best value’ including quality, expertise, as well as price,” Remias said in a news conference Wednesday.

RELATED STORY: Virginia Beach’s City Auditor has chosen the firm who will investigate the Municipal Center shooting

Remias said in their submitted proposal, Hillard Heintz estimated about 12 weeks for the investigation and included a “step-by-step and week-by-week timeline.”

Remias also said the team assembled by the company helped their proposal to stand out from the other 14 submitted.

“Collectively combining all the skill sets stood out far ‘head and shoulders’ above the other candidates,” Remias said.

Hillard Heintze has accomplished a wide range of reviews to include those of law enforcement agencies.

The team also conducts organizational training sessions for employees to learn how and when to report a co-worker before a situation like May 31 can occur.

Hillard Heintze Senior Vice President Matt Doherty is a former Secret Service and leads the company’s Threat and Violence Risk Management practice.

Doherty said in a June 5 radio interview, he knows the Municipal Center shooting here had “some association with the company.”

“I’m waiting for what the warning signs are and there are already warning signs coming out that [the shooter] was a disturbed individual, a loner, withdrawn,” he said. “I would note and predict that the behavior disturbed others without a doubt.”

Remias said based on his office’s “due diligence” he is confident this investigation is something this firm can handle.

The team

  • 4 former secret service agents
    • Will review security policies, practices, and procedures
    • They’ll also do a physical security assessment of the Municipal Center.
  • 2 former law enforcement officers — a former police chief and deputy police chief
    • Will review all issues relating to police response and obstacle faced
  • 2 attorneys, the firm’s general counsel and a Supreme Court of Virginia certified mediator who specializes in human resource issues.
  • 2 certified fraud examiners who are skilled in forensic auditing
    • Will perform a thorough data footprint of the shooter to include social media and “any data needing to be reviewed,” Remias said.
  • 1 mental health expert who is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist
    • Will conduct a retrospective indirect threat assessment and risk evaluation of the shooter.
      • Remias said including a mental health expert on the team was a major selling point.

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