Politically connected Monterrey Security lures two high-ranking Chicago cops into post-retirement jobs
First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio and Chief of Operations Fred Waller retired in August. They’ll join other former Chicago police brass at Monterrey, which provides security at Soldier Field, Allstate Arena, Lollapalooza and the Chicago Marathon.
Two high-ranking former cops have taken a well-worn retirement path from the Chicago Police Department to private industry — landing at the politically connected Monterrey Security.
Anthony Riccio and Fred Waller have become executives at the Chicago-based firm, according to a company announcement Tuesday. Riccio was the No. 2 official in the police department, overseeing daily operations. Waller’s job included supervising the city’s 22 police districts.
Riccio and Waller will join other former ranking Chicago cops already at Monterrey including Hiram Grau, once the No. 2 official in the police department and director of the Illinois State Police, who is a vice president of Monterrey, and former Cmdr. Bob Klich, the company’s director of special operations.
Monterrey’s president and CEO Juan Gaytan is assuming the additional role of board chairman. The former Chicago cop started Monterrey with Chicago firefighter Santiago Solis, a brother of corrupt former Ald. Danny Solis (25th). Santiago Solis left the company 17 years ago, a company spokesman said.
Juan Gaytan’s brother Steven has been named chief operating officer of the company.
Riccio and Waller are following in the steps of other top Chicago cops who’ve gone into the security business, including former police superintendents Terry Hillard and Garry McCarthy. Hillard is a co-founder of security firm Hillard/Heintze, and McCarthy was hired this year as a security consultant for MOCA Modern Cannabis.
Waller said he sees the Monterrey position as a chance to hire people from disadvantaged areas for positions that could lead one day to jobs as police officers. He also said he sees an opportunity for Monterrey to expand downtown to help protect businesses that have been besieged with thefts and other crime.
But Waller said he’s not closing the door on the possibility of becoming the chief of another police department.
“There are a lot of chief jobs out here, and people have asked for my resume,” he said. “This is not something that will prevent me from doing something else.”
Riccio said he’ll apply his anti-terrorism know-how to large events like Bears games at Soldier Field, the Chicago Marathon and Lollapalooza.
“You have that terrorism threat all the time. It kind of takes a back seat to the pandemic. But Chicago will continue to be a high-value target,” he said.
Monterrey — known for its red-jacketed guards — isn’t a stranger to controversy.
The company started in 1999 and three years later, Chicago officials canceled a contract with Monterrey after learning Gaytan and his co-founder were on the city payroll, an ethics violation. Later in 2002, Gaytan resigned as a cop after the police department moved to fire him over allegations of improper off-duty conduct.
A more recent controversy involved a contract for Monterrey to provide security at the Minnesota Vikings’ football stadium.
In 2017, the company was accused of allowing security guards to work in Minnesota without required training or employee screening. Monterrey lost its contract, and a state board voted not to renew the company’s security license but said it could reapply after “going back to square one [and] getting all these things cleaned up.” Gaytan has disputed those allegations.
Gaytan and others at Monterrey Security are politically connected: they’ve made more than $100,000 in contributions to political campaigns in Illinois over the past decade, records show.
The company’s government work has included a 2015 no-bid contract with Rosemont to oversee security at Allstate Arena, the Rosemont Theatre and the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center.
Monterrey also got a no-bid contract from Chicago in June to protect businesses from looting on the West and South Sides.
Waller, who oversaw the police operation in June, said “the communication wasn’t there like it needed to be” between Monterrey’s security guards and the cops.
“I can bridge some gaps,” said Waller, director of public safety for Monterrey.
Riccio, who’s the director of strategy for the company, said he’s aware of the controversy that’s swirled around the company.
“I bring integrity and a reputation for being honest,” Riccio said. “I’m not saying they don’t have that. They’ve been painted with a bad brush in the past.”