Stadium Security Whistleblower: 'I Had Moral Responsibility' to Speak Up

September 27, 2017 12:06 PM

The man who became a whistleblower against the company contracted to keep people safe at U.S. Bank Stadium says he felt a moral and ethical responsibility to speak up about the company's practices.

Don Banham, former head of security at U.S. Bank Stadium, told KSTP he took three days before he decided to speak out this spring about apparent violations at the Monterrey Security operations at the Vikings new $1 billion stadium.

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“There were things that came to my attention that I morally and ethically did not feel comfortable with,” he said. “I felt it was incumbent upon me to bring it to the attention of the state board who is responsible for regulating the licenses for the security in the state of Minnesota.”

RELATED: Security Company at U.S. Bank Stadium Fired After Investigation

Banham spent nearly 30 years with the Minneapolis Police Department, going from patrol officer, to inspector to captain.

In retirement, he found a natural fit doing event security. He said Monterrey sought him out when they won the contract at U.S. Bank Stadium.

An audit — conducted by a Minneapolis based law firm — released Tuesday discovered Monterrey used “ambiguous job titles as justification to ignore state requirements.”

RELATED: New U.S. Bank Stadium Security Company has Dealt with its Own Issues

The report also found that they “employ people with disqualifying criminal histories” and many employees “have either not passed or been submitted for a background check.”

The stadium is set to host the Super Bowl in 130 days, and Banham said he feels taking the high road paid off.

RELATED: FBI Investigating Security Company at US Bank Stadium

“I was certain that that was the right thing to do…I wasn’t going to turn back and I’m not regretful for what I did,” he said. “It absolutely goes back to public safety and our and my responsibility to those people who go to that venue.”

On Tuesday, some four months after an investigation began, Monterrey Security was released from its duties at U.S. Bank Stadium. Banham said he is convinced all the rowdy fans on game day are now safer because of it.

Credits

Ryan Raiche

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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