Longtime associate lured Bratton to security firm
In announcing his decision Wednesday to step down as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and reenter the private sector, William J. Bratton turned a spotlight on the firm that has hired him.
Altegrity is a company with several thousand employees and a significant presence in a secretive industry that, among other things, provides businesses and government agencies with intelligence-gathering and other investigative services. Bratton will head up a new subsidiary of the company called Altegrity Security Consulting, which will consult with local governments, primarily in developing and conflict-ridden countries, to help build and improve police forces.
In making the move, Bratton reunites with Michael Cherkasky, a man he first met two decades ago when Bratton was in the midst of a burgeoning career in policing and Cherkasky was a prosecutor in New York City.
Cherkasky, who runs Altegrity and lured Bratton to the new job, is very familiar with what Bratton brings to the table. Before becoming LAPD chief, he worked as a consultant for Cherkasky in a similar role to the one he will now assume. He also worked with the team of consultants that Cherkasky had assembled to monitor the LAPD for the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a consent decree forced on the department after the Rampart corruption scandal. As LAPD chief, Bratton went on to work closely with Cherkasky, who remained the lead monitor overseeing the LAPD until the decree was terminated last month.
Throughout Bratton’s tenure as chief in L.A., he and Cherkasky held on to the idea of partnering again someday, Cherkasky said in an interview. Occasional, informal discussions turned serious in recent weeks after the consent decree was lifted, Cherkasky ended his role as monitor, and the two were no longer bound by ethical considerations.
Cherkasky and Bratton, however, acknowledged that they had been discussing the new job in earnest before the formal end of the consent decree. On Wednesday, Bratton dismissed questions of whether that timing posed a conflict of interest since Cherkasky was still monitoring the LAPD and urging the federal judge to end the decree while he and Bratton were in discussions.
Along with Bratton’s endeavor, the fast-growing Altegrity has three other primary business operations. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., USIS provides background investigations, screening services, consulting on national security issues and technology support to government agencies, according to its website. HireRight specializes in employee screening products and services for private companies, and Explore works primarily to develop technology products for the insurance industry.