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Joshua Adam Engel
Vice President and General Counsel, Lycurgus Group
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The Lycurgus Group conducts investigations, background investigations and fingerprint screenings for individual, corporate, and institutional clients. The Lycurgus Group also conducts risk assessments and provides security services. Look for the Lycurgus Group on Thumbtack: private investigation Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2014 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group is now able to provide fingerprint based background check services to the members of the public and business communities. The fingerprint-based background checks are offered through the Ohio Attorney General’s Webcheck program. Under this system, the Lycurgus Group is able to capture and submit electronic fingerprinting data to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation (“BCI&I”) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). More information is available here. Fingerprints are increasingly required by employers as part of routine pre-employment screening of employees. In addition, state laws often require a fingerprint check prior to obtaining professional licenses or employment in certain fields. The mobile fingerprint check service offered by the Lycurgus Group is the most convenient and time efficient way for individuals or institutions to obtain fingerprint checks. Services are available by making an appointment at the Lycurgus Group’s offices, or at any location in Ohio. To make an appointment, please call 614-859-9570. If you need to leave a message, your call will be returned within ten minutes. Appointments can also be made by contacting Lycurgus Group President Michael McCann at mccann@lycurgusgroup.net About the Lycurgus Group The Lycurgus Group conducts investigations, background investigations and fingerprint screenings for individual, corporate, and institutional clients. The Lycurgus Group also conducts risk assessments and provides security services. Members of the Lycurgus Group include formerly-commissioned law enforcement officers who have completed a course of instruction certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission and attorneys who have served as prosecutors and in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group works with attorneys under the most stressful circumstances possible. We’ve learned in those rare instances, many attorneys members aren’t prepared and equipped with proper procedures. With that in mind, the Lycurgus Group is hosting a free CLE – Crisis Management: Investigations and Communications for Attorneys. The event will take place on December 9, 2013 from 9:30am-11:45am at the Conference Center at 5181 Natorp Boulevard, 1st Floor, Mason, Ohio 45040. A continental breakfast will be provided before the CLE. This course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Legal Education for 2.0 CLE Hours, including 1 hour in ethics. Please RSVP for by December 2, 2013 by calling 614-859-9570 or by sending an email to kinsinger@lycurgusgroup.net. One of the keys to responding to a crisis is that an institution should not be “investigating itself.” What happened at Penn State to its football program provides a good example. The criminal charges against high-ranking members of the institution, including the University President, illustrate the need for companies and institutions to be increasingly aware that investigations conducted by objectively credible people may be subject to conflict of interest criticism. While such criticism is often unfair -- institutions are unlikely to risk excellent reputations for any single employee – it remains an avoidable fact. FEATURED SPEAKER J. A. Engel Engel is the Vice President and General Counsel for the Lycurgus Group. An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Engel has more than 15 years of litigation, civil rights,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2013 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group has added the in-house ability to conduct discrete and confidential polygraph examinations. Polygraphs are performed under the supervision of David Conley, Vice President. Conley is an experienced investigator and former Deputy Director of the Ohio Investigative Unit with thirty years of law enforcement experience. Conley is a certified polygraph examiner. A polygraph examination can be extremely valuable in case preparation and litigation. It is the most accurate means available for determining the truth or deception of a person answering a direct question. Department of Defense and various U.S. Government studies concluded that that when a qualified examiner conducts the test properly, the polygraph examination is between 87 and 95 percent accurate. Other tests, such as Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA), are not as accurate. The Lycurgus Group provides polygraph examinations in both the criminal and civil context, and both before and during litigation. As a small firm, we have the ability to custom tailor examinations to our clients individual needs. An example of some of the most frequently sought services would be:  Criminal (including theft, murder, etc.)  Civil (including infidelity, divorce and child custody)  Post-Conviction Sexual Offenders Testing (PCSOT)  Pre-Employment and Post-Employment Screening as per E.P.P.A. standards. The Lycurgus Group brings the perspective of experienced law enforcement investigators to assist criminal defense attorneys in helping clients to avoid problems and, if necessary, crafting a strategic response to allegations. Our team includes commissioned law enforcement officers, including an elected Sheriff and former Superintendent of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2013 at Lycurgus Group News
Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti has claimed that he was duped into an online relationship with a woman whose "death" from leukemia was faked by perpetrators of an elaborate hoax. More on the Lycurgus Group Sports Compliance Group. The hoax was disclosed by Deadspin.com, which posted an in-depth story claiming that the woman ever existed. The story suggests a Te’o may have been responsible for the hoax. Te’o claims to be a victim. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said at a news conference that Te'o informed the school that he was the victim of a hoax e girl in early December. Notre Dame believes Te’o. The school has said that it conducted an investigation to look into the incident. However, the results of the investigation will not be turned over the law enforcement, and Notre Dame does not plan to release the findings of its investigation. Already, the Notre Dame investigation is coming under significant criticism. On ESPN radio, Mike Golic suggested that the investigation may be criticized for lack of true independence: There are many that will say, Okay. Notre Dame did an investigation and – and you know, I’m good with that. But . . . there are others that are going to say well, Wait a minute Notre Dame did an investigation about their own person. How much did they – how much did it really entail because they’re protecting their own person. Listen, I went to Notre Dame and . . . I love... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2013 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group will be conducting a feasibility study for the City of Wilmington and Clinton County to examine current dispatch and emergency/public safety communication systems to determine if potential synergies may exist that would allow shared services for the City and County. Currently, the Partners maintain separate public safety dispatch services which are not linked. The Partners goal is to provide timely and reliable service delivery and are committed to working together to best serve the area population in a borderless manner in emergency situations. The feasibility study would clarify and analyze all the existing contracts, systems, and protocols currently in use countywide, related to dispatch and communications for fire, policy and EMS services and the various organizations. This study is expected to provide a comprehensive overview of the public safety dispatch and compare and contrast the systems and protocols to objectively determine potential areas for greater collaboration and potential for shared service opportunities. The feasibility study will demonstrate if the shared services could result in significant cost savings for the Partners, while maintaining the benefits of multiple physical locations. More than the financial or dollar savings, the feasibility study will afford the Partners the opportunity to explore shared staffing and equipment in order to provide greater quality of services to the community at a lower cost. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
A report by the Lycurgus Group supports a family’s request that a state investigative agency take the lead in the investigation of the beating death of 89-year-old Harry Smith at his home in 2011. The report was released by Smith’s family. Various newspapers covered the release of the Lycurgus Group report, including the Columbus Dispatch and Channel 10. The report by the Lycurgus Group includes information about Smith’s death as well as interviews with witnesses and persons of interest. The rport also addressed the family's concerns about how the investigation was handled. According to media reports, the report notes different interviews, including two conducted in June of the two passersby who helped Smith’s family pull him from a fire at his home. Both witnesses said they never had been interviewed by the sheriff's office. Under recommendations, the report reads: "Lycurgus Group believes the investigation has not been handled properly by the Ross County Sheriff's Office. It appears there was an unreasonable delay in obtaining a cause of death from the Coroner's Office and a declaration that the fire likely was an arson from the State Fire Marshall. While this delay may not have been entirely the fault of the Sheriff's Office, the investigation did not reveal that the Sheriff's Office made significant efforts to resolve the delay." The Lycurgus Group report also said it thinks the case “cannot be solved nor will a successful prosecution be possible unless some internal processes are changed” and cautions that the recommendations were made... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
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The Lycurgus Group was featured in Ohio Matters, the Official publication of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The article notes that as former law enforcement veterans, the leaders of the Lycurgus Group "understand the importance of conducting a proper and timely investigation." Michael McCann, president of Lycurgus Group LLC, addressed the ability of the Lycugurs Group toaid companies or institutions facings a real or perceived conflict of interest: One of the reasons we exist is for situations where organizations have a question about whether they should or shouldn’t do an internal investigation. The one thing we believe is a good investigation will take care of a lot of problems. If they try to cut corners or do it on the cheap, it almost always comes back to hurt the company Please read Finding the Truth. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The Report on the sexual abuse allegations at Penn State has underscored the fact that schools sometimes face athletics-related problems that internal staff and procedures are not equipped to handle. The Report illustrates the need for schools to be increasingly aware that internal investigations conducted by objectively credible people may be subject to conflict of interest criticism. While such criticism is often unfair -- institutions are unlikely to risk excellent reputations for any single student, faculty member, or staff member – it remains an avoidable fact. The problem at Penn State was not as simple as an institution cynically seeking to protect its own image. Instead, the challenge facing Penn State was the inability of the human beings who run the Institution from recognizing their own conflicts and limitations. One of the natural inclinations of an Institution is to focus more on the subject of the wrongdoing, not the wrongdoing itself. In this case, instead of focusing on the victims, the Penn State Administration focused on protecting the person accused of this misconduct. This focus is an inherent problem of large institutions, and is especially strong at schools with strong athletic cultures like Penn State. Because the athletic leaders are a symbol of a university, Penn State’s leaders may have felt a strong desire to protect their “home,” against external criticism. After Penn State, institutional administrators, like school presidents and athletic directors need to take a more dispassionate approach towards serious allegations of misconduct. One of the results of this... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The Chillicothe Gazette has written that the Lycurgus Group has been retained by the family of Harry Smith to investigate Smith's death last October. Smith was pulled from his burning home. According to the article, Smith's relatives think he was bound, assaulted and robbed before his home was set on fire by a murderer-arsonist. Lycurgus Group President Mike McCann is leading the investigative team made up of former homicide detectives and an arson investigator. "This is basically a homicide investigation from scratch. It's more of a cold case than anything else," McCann said. While the Lycurgus Group typically does not confirm or identify the identity of clients, McCann was able to confirm the role of the Lycurgus Group after the family disclosed the role of McCann's investigators. McCann noted that his team's involvement in the case "clearly is a mark of the family's frustration." Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
Lycurgus Group Vice President Joshua Engel will be presenting on Friday, April 20, 2012 at the Annual College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) Conference on College Sport. The Conference is at the University of North Carolina. The Lycurgus Group is a sponsor of CSRI. CSRI conducts, sponsors, coordinates and disseminates research on college sports. The conference features feature panel discussions on many of the major topics in college sport today, including conference realignment, issues in Title IX, and media coverage of the NCAA. Engel will be speaking on Conflicts of Interest in NCAA Investigations. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group announces that Todd Alles, Sr. has agreed to join its Sports Compliance Group as a Vice President. Alles brings a depth of educational and sports knowledge, as well as relevant experience at the highest level of NCAA sports, to his role as Vice President of the Lycurgus Group. Recently, Alles directed football operations for the Ohio State University and the University of Alabama. In those positions, he was responsible for the day-to-day logistics of the Buckeye and Crimson Tide football teams. Alles has significant experience at all levels of education. He has served as an administrator, teacher, and coach at both the collegiate and high school levels. His career includes work as teacher, baseball, wrestling, and football coach, as well as a high school athletics director, assistant principal and principal. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a flight engineer. The Lycurgus Group Sports Compliance Team was formed in response to the recognition that when an institution faces potentially serious allegations, the use of internal staff, whether in the compliance office or otherwise, to undertake an investigation creates two problems: first, the use of internal staff may create the appearance of a conflict of interest because the staff is not independent from the institution; second, internal staff may not have the resources or experience necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of serious allegations, especially where possible law enforcement issues are involved. The Lycurgus Group Sports Compliance team uniquely combines the perspective of experienced law enforcement investigators... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group has been asked to assist the City of Wilmington and Clinton County in the preparation of a grant application submitted to the Ohio Department of Development. The Local Government Innovation Fund grant is for the purpose of studying and funding projects that enhance collaboration among local governments and their services. The Lycurgus Group has proposed to study and identify opportunities for multiagency coordination in Clinton County in public safety communications and dispatching, including 911 operations. As former law enforcement officials who have worked in both the local and state level, the leadership of the Lycurgus Group understands the needs of law enforcement, the possibilitities for gains in efficiency and cost savings, and the impact that coordination could have on improving law enforcement and emergency response. In order to develop appropriate recommendations for public safety communications and dispatch services, the Lycurgus group will employ best practices to assist decisions-makers management to develop appropriate public safety communications and dispatch services plans. An evidence-based approach will be applied to identify best practices in all facets of public safety communications and dispatch services, including resource allocation, deployment, and long-term strategic approaches. Once best practices are determined, the Lycurgus Group will determine if the practices are appropriate in light of local laws, agency policies, and community realities. The Wilmington News Journal has reported on the application, and noted that the project has the support of the Mayor of Wilmington and the Clinton County Sheriff. The Lycurgus Group provides investigative and public safety... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The U.S. Supreme Court today held that the Fourth Amendment prohibited law enforcement from using GPS devices to conduct surveillance on suspects without a warrant in the case, United States v. Jones. Lycurgus Group VP and General Counsel Joshua Engel published an article on this important decision. Read full story here. The Jones case began in 2004. At that time, a federal and local law enforcement task force began investigating the defendant, a nightclub owner and operator, for alleged cocaine trafficking. As part of the investigation, the law enforcement officers attempted to locate co-conspirators the drug stash locations by conducting traditional visual surveillance and installing a camera near the defendant's nightclub. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
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Lycurgus Group Vice President Terry Rupert addressed the 2012 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis on January 11, 2012. Rupert appeared as part of a panel of senior athletics officials in an education session titled, "Compliance in the Contemporary Athletics Environment ." In his remarks, Rupert addressed many of the challenges facing administrators in the current compliance environment. Rupert indicated that his comments were informedby his dual role as a college Director of Athletics and a college Vice President. The Sports Compliance Group of the Lycurgus Group is present at the NCAA convention. The Sports Compliance Group focuses on the specific needs of institutions facing athletics-related investigations and allegations. Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2012 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group has been approved as a participant at the 2012 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The convention is January 11-12, 2012. The Lycurgus Group Sports Compliance Teamwill be available to discuss current and future issues in athletic compliance. The Lycurgus Group has learned from conversations with college administrators, trustees, and athletics directors that the recent allegations at high-profile institutions has underscored the fact that schools sometimes face problems that internal staff and procedures are not equipped to handle. The Lycurgus Group provides proactive monitoring and investigative services to institutions facing significant allegations of wrongdoing in college athletics, including infractions investigations and high-profile student-athlete eligibility matters. The Lycurgus Group Sports Compliance Team was formed in response to the recognition that when an institution faces potentially serious allegations, the use of internal staff, whether in the compliance office or otherwise, to undertake an investigation creates two problems: first, the use of internal staff may create the appearance of a conflict of interest because the staff is not independent from the institution; second, internal staff may not have the resources or experience necessary to conduct thorough proactive monitoring or an investigation of serious allegations. (Read the White Paper prepared for clients on the Penn State situation.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group has just published a White Paper on the Penn State Investigations. The White Paper is available here. The White Paper continues to look at the Penn State sexual abuse scandal. The facts and allegations, because so well reported and continuing to develop, will not be repeated here. This may be, as Boston Globe columnist and ESPN contributor Bob Ryan suggests, “the single biggest story in the history of college sports.” The Lycurgus Group joins the hopes and prayers of others that the victims in this matter can find some sense of justice. While it is too early in the legal process to draw any definitive conclusions about where the fault should fairly lay, it is not too early for Institutions to begin to answer the question about how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future. The purpose of this White Paper is to examine the potential conflicts of interest inherent when Institution’s conduct internal investigations sensitive of high profile allegations of wrongdoing and to propose the use of external investigators as a viable solution in extraordinary situations. In some instances, the reliance on internal staff is appropriate based on the nature of the allegations. However, two recent incidents at Penn State – allegations of wrongdoing by a climate research scientist and the sexual abuse allegations involving a former football coach who maintained ties to the Institution – illustrate that when the institution faces potentially serious allegations, the better course is not to use of internal staff,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
The Lycurgus Group news is now available on Twitter. @LycurgusGroup. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
Lycurgus Group Vice President and General Counsel recently published an article in Law Technology Now. The article is Defining “Search” in “U.S. v. Jones:” U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case about police use of GPS may depend on the definition of "search." In the article, Engel reviews the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones. The issue in Jones is whether the government is required to obtain a warrant before placing a GPS device on a suspect's vehicle. Engel writes: A simple way to try to understand the Supreme Court's recent Fourth Amendment cases is to consider whether the Justices are concerned that they might be subject to the search in question. The more that the justices can see their privacy at risk, the more likely it is that they will require the police to obtain a warrant. Based on this view, it looks like the Court may rule that the police must obtain a warrant before using a GPS device to track a subject. Engel recently published a law review article on the issue of warrantless GPS tracking, and is a frequent speaker on the intersection between the Fourth Amendment and emerging technology. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
The Penn State Athletic Department is in turmoil as a result of how the university and athletic department handled allegations of sexual abuse by an assistant football coach. Two Penn State officials, including the athletic director, have been charged with perjury and failing to report suspected sexual abuse. Newspapers are printing calls for the resignation of the University President and head football coach. If true, the allegations against the assistant coach are horrific and the victims deserve tremendous sympathy and support. The legal system will now have to run its course. At this early stage of the scandal, it is clear that the University’s internal staff and procedures were not equipped to handle these types of allegations. When the Institution faces potentially serious allegations, the use of internal staff, whether in the compliance office or otherwise, to undertake an investigation creates two problems: first, the use of internal staff may create the appearance of a conflict of interest because the staff is not independent from the Institution; second, internal staff may not have the resources or experience necessary to conduct thorough proactive monitoring or an investigation of serious allegations. In the coming weeks, Penn State will inevitably face criticism that the internal investigators and staff who were initially made aware of the allegations were more concerned with preserving the reputation or financial interests of the Institution. The general tone of this criticism may be that the Institution should not be “investigating itself” or “policing itself” and that any subsequent exoneration... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
Lycurgus Group Vice President and General Counsel Joshua Engel will be presenting a symposium at Whittier Law School on November 3, 2011. The symposium will be sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property Law and the Law Review at Whittier Law School in California. The topic is The Law of the Smart Phone. The symposium will feature" presentations and panel discussions devoted to the privacy, regulation, economics, and intellectual property issues surrounding smart phone technology. Presenters will include some of the law’s most celebrated scholars and practitioners in new technologies." More information is available here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
The Shelby County Commissioners have appointed Lycurgus Group Vice President John Lenhart as interim sheriff. Lenhart agreed to to take over as Sheriff after former Sheriff Dean Kimpel stepped aside. Shelby County names an interim sheriff: wdtn.com Kimpel left the office after being indicted on charges he sexually assaulted a former deputy and used the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway to check the backgrounds of people for personal reasons. Read more about the appointment here. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2011 at Lycurgus Group News
Nice observation Albert. Two thoughts: 1. A Federal Law exists on the disclosure of personal information mainatined by state DMVs. It is the Drivers Privacy Protection Act. The DPPA generally prohibits the disclosure of personal information, except for a certain specified purposes. Unfortunatly, there are over twenty exception, ranging from law enforcement to insurance companies to attorneys. And, sadly, once the information is released to a legitimate user, it is very hard for the state agencies to protect against unauthorized re-disclosure. 2. If private companies are collecting this data, there there would be no restrictions on how it is used. It is like the issue of cell phone tracking -- To pick a relatively benign example, I am sure Starbucks would like to know how often I go into one of their stores, as would competitors. But what is hospitals obtained this information, and made it publicly available?
Toggle Commented Aug 29, 2011 on ID Scanners Present Privacy Concerns at EDD Update
The Fourth Amendment question will be when can police compel someone to provide fingerprint scan? My quick answer is probably two situations: (1) in those situations, like a traffic stop, when police are already permitted to ask for identification; and (2) under situations like a Terry stop, when there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2011 on Smile You're on Biometric Camera! at EDD Update
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Apr 29, 2011