Ex-Head of FBI Office in L.A. Joins Security Company


The former head of the FBI's Los Angeles field office has been appointed chief of Southern California operations for one of the world's largest security services firms, company officials said Tuesday.

James V. DeSarno Jr., a 25-year veteran of the FBI, is a vice president and manager of Guardsmark Inc., which provides security services to Fortune 1000 companies and other high-profile firms. Company officials did not disclose DeSarno's salary and benefits.

DeSarno, 54, said he was excited about the prospects of working for Guardsmark, but said he was saddened by leaving the bureau. "I had a great career in the FBI, one that little boys of my generation dreamed about," he said.

DeSarno retired from the FBI last month after serving two years as an assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office, which covers seven counties.

The FBI's Los Angeles office includes foreign counterintelligence and counter-terrorism units, public corruption squads, and white-collar and organized crime investigators.

Previously, DeSarno headed the FBI's campaign financing investigation related to the 1996 presidential campaign, and served as head of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division at bureau headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He also worked for the FBI in West Virginia, Philadelphia and New Orleans, where, as special agent in charge, he oversaw a police corruption investigation that led to the dismissal of more than 100 New Orleans police officers.

"Jim DeSarno's proven accomplishments in law enforcement make us proud to have him as a valued member of the Guardsmark team," Chairman Ira A. Lipman said.

A native of Washington, D.C., DeSarno majored in psychology at Wheeling College, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1968. He received a master of science degree from Loyola University in Baltimore in 1972, specializing in clinical psychology.

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