SALT LAKE CITY — An executive at a security agency says the state of Utah has suspended the licenses of two employees who were arrested earlier this month with Patriot Front members in Idaho.
Derek Evans, senior vice president at CBI Security, said the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, or DOPL, notified him of the suspensions shortly after the arrests of Dakota R. Tabler, who began working for CBI in March, and Cameron K. Pruitt, who began working for CBI in April.
Evans said CBI took action before DOPL did.
“Our decision prior to DOPL suspending their license was to suspend them. So that’s what we did,” Evans said.
A spokesman for DOPL would not confirm the suspensions to FOX 13 News, though he said – in general – it’s common for the agency to suspend a licensee who has been arrested until DOPL can investigate the case.
A third Patriot Front suspect from Utah, Nathaniel Whitfield, is also licensed as an unarmed security guard, according to an online state database. Neither he, Tabler nor Pruitt returned messages seeking comment.
The suspensions would be some of the first fallout for those aligned with Patriot Front. Thirty-one members of the white supremacist group were arrested June 11 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, near a Pride event.
Each has been charged with a misdemeanor count of conspiracy to riot. Under Utah law and regulations, any professional who is charged with a misdemeanor can expect his or her license to be suspended, said Jacob S. Gunter, a Provo attorney who represents clients facing sanction from DOPL.
“When I look at the co-provisions of good moral character,” Gunter said, “or not convicted of a misdemeanor or moral turpitude that applies to some of the owners of security companies, those are broad terms.”
Neither Gunter nor Evans knew what the three Utah license holders could expect as a professional punishment if they are even convicted of the Idaho misdemeanor. DOPL does not publish any penalty and sanction calculations.
“I would be surprised if it’s a lifetime suspension,” Evans said. “Six months, if they’re convicted, that’s possible.”
If not convicted, Evans was unsure whether CBI would put Pruitt and Tabler back to work. Evans said that is something CBI’s human resources division would have to examine.
Besides observing and reporting, Utah law allows unarmed security guards to – under certain circumstances – detain people and use force. CBI is one of the largest security firms in Utah and has contracts to guard both government and private facilities and events.
“Jewish temples, for instance,” Evans said.
As for white supremacy, Evans said: “Well, I’m against it.”
He went on to say he believes no one should be targeted for the race, religion or sexual preference.