Two Private Investigator Licensing Levels Back in Colorado Bill

Posted April 9, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: ,

By Paul Simon
Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – The mandatory private investigator licensing bill before the Colorado Legislature has taken a new twist, advancing past the Senate Finance Committee with revised language creating two levels of licensing just as the measure specified when it first was introduced in January.

The sponsor, Sen. Linda Newell, D-Denver, said the newly amended bill is an attempt “to make sure we don’t have any barriers for (anyone) going into the profession” and that she believed it will have the support of everyone.

The revised bill will reflects a desire to keep the licensing fee as low as possible, she said, recognizing “we could dramatically drop the fees with that amendment. That was one of the biggest concerns of our opposition.”

The version of the bill passed late in February by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 party vote created “agency” licenses issued to firms whose owners had a minimum level of experience, with registrations available for those working for agencies. Independent investigators would be required to meet the experience requirements, which critics complained would bar entry into the profession.

— More—

State Reports Says Voluntary Colorado Private Licensing is $70,000 in the Hole

Posted April 7, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: ,

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

The misguided venture into voluntary private investigator licensing in Colorado has put the state into an estimated $70,000 hole that would be made up from the state’s general fund in the first year of mandatory licensing, should the measure pass in the legislative before it adjourns early in May.

That shortfall would put the licensing program in the red for the first year but the program would bring in more than it costs the second year, according to a fiscal analysis prepared for the Senate Finance Committee that is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Approval would send it to the full Senate for consideration.

Licensing opponents within the profession have been critical of the cost of the voluntary program now in its third year and the impact on those who participate, with fees rising from $340 the first year to $644 and then to $1,094. Critics also object to taxpayers footing the bill for the debt the voluntary program has incurred because fewer investigators participated than had been projected.

The fiscal impact report projects revenue from licensing at $135,950 the first year against costs of $160,482, then revenue the second year at $120,940 vs. costs of $62.134. It also projects adding staff time to the one fulltime staff person allocated to voluntary licensing, to a total of 1.6 FTE to administer the program.

— More—

Colorado Private Investigator Licensing Bill Amended to Allow Some PIs to Register

Posted February 27, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags:

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER – A Senate committee Wednesday  advanced a revamped bill requiring all private investigators in Colorado to obtain licenses, voting 3-2 along party lines after a contentious 3 ½-hour hearing pitting those who believe licensing will better protect consumers against others who see it as a boondoggle designed to kill small businesses and eliminate part-time investigators.

The revised bill that now moves to the Senate Finance Committee contains two licensing levels, one requiring an as yet-undetermined minimum level of experience and a second requiring that  investigators  working for firms register with the state. Private investigators working for a firm who register wouldn’t be held to the qualification standards that would apply to firm owners and any investigator operating as a sole-proprietorship.

Solo private investigators seeking to avoid the presumably larger fee and experience requirements would have to join a firm to do so. All private investigators would be required to pass a jurisprudence exam about their knowledge of the law,  and pass fingerprint and background checks.

About all the nearly two dozen people who spoke at Wednesday’s hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed on was that the volunteer licensing program in place since the middle of 2012 is a failure. Fees began at $340 annually, climbed to $644 and then to $1,094 this year, with the result that fewer private investigators are participating. The program handled by the Department of Regulatory Agencies is self-funded, so fewer participants means higher fees to cover operational costs.

“We’ve been raising the flag about a problem” with financing the voluntary licensing program, state regulator Dino Ioannides said, adding that he was disappointed that the legislature hadn’t resolved the problem.

The cost of a license under a mandatory licensing program was just as much a touchpoint during the hearing as whether any licensing is needed.
— More—

Private Investigator Who Says He Was Stiffed By Association Leader Says Bill Has Now Been Paid

Posted February 7, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: , ,

DENVER – A Colorado Springs private investigator who says he was stiffed four years ago by the current chair of the state’s largest association of private investigators and who says the chair was lying when he said last month that he has since paid up says he was called Feb. 5 by the chair and received payment the next day.

“On Wednesday, 5 February 2014, I received a personal phone call from Chris Bray,” Tom Pitts of Colorado Springs wrote in a Feb. 7 email addressed to the Private Investigator Blog and two others. “Mr. Bray apologized for the nearly five-year delay in paying The Delta Company’s past-due invoices. He stated to me that he really believed that he had paid these a long time ago. However, he indicated that he would remit on the invoices immediately. On Thursday, 6 February 2014, I received a company check issued by Chris Bray for the $140.00 past due amount of these outstanding invoices.

“I accepted the apology from Mr. Bray and I also accepted/deposited his check. Permit me to be clear; under NO circumstances is the acceptance of Mr. Bray’s apology and remittance to be construed as an endorsement of Chris Bray, or the PPIAC. I am wholeheartedly against the current licensing bill before the legislature. Further, this acceptance is in no way a waiver of my previously stated position regarding Chris Bray, the PPIAC, or this licensing legislation.”
— More—

Private Investigator Who Says He Was Stiffed By Association Leader Says He Still Hasn’t Been Paid

Posted February 6, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: , , ,

By Ryan Ross

DENVER – A Colorado Springs private investigator who says he was stiffed four years ago by the current chair of the state’s largest association of private investigators says the chair is lying when he says he has since paid up.

Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) Chair Chris Bray “has never paid these two outstanding invoices,” Tom Pitts wrote Feb. 3 in an email to a critic of plans to require private investigators to get licenses in Colorado. “If he had, it should be a simple matter for Mr. Bray to produce … proof that the invoices were (paid), (by producing)  …  a cancelled check or remittance. I suggest that no such proofs exists or is forthcoming.”

Pitts’ email is part of a tit-for-tat series of emails during the past few days between PPIAC leaders, Pitts and a Bob Oblock, a critic of the association’s push for legislation requiring private investigators to obtain licenses in Colorado. It occurs as legislators are about to focus on the legislation that its backers say is needed in part to promote ethical conduct by private investigators.

Pitts was reacting to a statement by Bray to the Private Investigator Blog that he did eventually pay two invoices totaling $140 that Pitts had cited in a complaint he’d filed in 2009 with a national association of process servers. Bray didn’t respond to the complaint, and the association revoked his membership.

— More—

Licensing Critic Cites A Whopper: Private Investigators Association Chair Had Membership in Server Association Revoked After Failing to Pay for Services Rendered

Posted January 31, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

Tags: ,

DENVER – The chair of the largest association of private investigators in Colorado and the point person behind legislation to require investigators to obtain a license from the state was kicked out of a professional association in 2009 for failing to pay for services he’d contracted for, something a critic says makes a mockery of his and the association’s professed interest in cleaning up the profession with the licensing legislation.

Private Professional Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) Chair Chris Bray had his membership in the National Association of Professional Process Servers revoked in 2009 when he failed to respond to a complaint alleging he’d failed to pay for services rendered by a Colorado Springs process server he’d retained.

“This is the guy that thinks every private investigator should be licensed, to protect the public from unethical investigators,” Colorado Independent Investigators Assn. Chair Bob Oblock notes. “Hahaha!”

Oblock is one of several former PPIAC board members who left that organization, formed their own group and oppose licensing private investigators. They contend it’s unnecessary and imposes a financial burden on investigators, many of whom work part-time and others of whom are retired. The PPIAC is a driving force behind licensure.
— More—

Mandatory Licensing Bill for Colorado Private Investigators Makes Its Legislative Debut

Posted January 28, 2014 by privateinvestigatorblogger
Categories: Colorado Private Investigator Licensing, Denver Private Investigator News

By Paul Simon

Denver Private Investigator Blogger

DENVER ­­─ The push to require private investigators in Colorado to obtain licenses from the state became a formal campaign Tuesday with the introduction of legislation in the state legislature.

If Senate Bill 133 is approved, all private investigators performing investigative work in Colorado – or simply representing themselves as private investigators – would be required to be licensed or face legal penalties for failing to do so. The program regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) would be ­by license fees and charges for fingerprinting and background checks.

The bill would eliminate the voluntary licensing program enacted 1½ years ago that has seen limited participation and that is running an estimated deficit of $40,000.

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Linda Newell, a Democrat from Littleton, and Rep. Jovan Melton, a Democrat from Aurora. It was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Newell is the committee’s vice-chair. The chair is Sen. Lucia Guzman, Democrat of Denver. Members are Sens. Michael Johnston, Democrat of Denver, Steve King, Republican of Grand Junction and Kevin Lundberg, Republican of Berthoud. The committee hearing on the bill has not yet been set.

— More—

To read the bill, click here


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.