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Security firm no longer working for Dakota Access developer in ND

Security firm no longer working for Dakota Access developer in ND

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BISMARCK — A security firm facing regulatory scrutiny is no longer working in North Dakota on behalf of the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday, July 5.

The news came about a week after the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board alleged TigerSwan operated here without a license. The board filed a complaint in Burleigh County District Court on June 27.

“TigerSwan employees in North Dakota were decommissioned in late June,” Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado said in an email. “We continue to have security measures in place in North Dakota, just no longer need boots on the ground.”

Asked whether the change had to do with the board’s complaint, Granado said it was “in response to our changing security needs and the use of other security measures.”

A TigerSwan spokesperson didn’t return messages by 5 p.m. Wednesday, but the firm told the Associated Press it had ended its work with Energy Transfer Partners in late June.

The board is seeking an injunction against North Carolina-based TigerSwan and its founder, James Patrick Reese, along with administrative fines. Providing private investigative or private security services without a current license issued by the board is a Class B misdemeanor.

The $3.8 billion oil pipeline was the subject of protests for months, with confrontations between protesters and law enforcement occasionally turning violent. The firm provided intelligence and security services to Dallas-based ETP and coordinated with local law enforcement, according to the board’s complaint, but a Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman previously said they were unaware TigerSwan was apparently unlicensed.

The complaint also said TigerSwan “maintains roving security teams” to monitor valve sites in North Dakota and the firm’s personnel are armed with semiautomatic rifles and sidearms “while engaging in security services.”

TigerSwan said last week it was the subject of a “deliberate misinformation campaign” but said it would address issues with state regulators.

Monte Rogneby, an attorney for the Private Investigative and Security Board, said no hearings have been scheduled in the court case.

“At this point, we are in discussions with TigerSwan’s counsel about how to move the case forward and reach a resolution,” he said.

Call John Hageman at (701) 255-5607 or send email to jhageman@forumcomm.com

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