Facebook’s Executive Protection Firm Received Four Gun Permits

Last week, Santa Clara County finally released a current list of people who received permission from Sheriff Laurie Smith to carry concealed guns. At the time, we reported that two of them worked for AS Solutions, an executive protection firm linked to DA Jeff Rosen’s inquiry into whether anyone illicitly paid their way to an approved permit.

We’re now told that at least four of the people on that roster worked for AS Solution.

One of the names didn’t surprise us. Martin Nielsen, an AS Solution account manager assigned to its Facebook contract, won a scarce-to-come-by permit no more than six months after donating $45,000 to an independent political action committee supporting Smith’s 2018 re-election. Also on the list: his former colleague Rachael Paskvan, who jumped ship from AS Solution earlier this month for a better-paying executive security gig at Facebook.

But at least two other people who nabbed a permit in 2019 worked with Nielsen at some point. On March 26, the same day Nielsen and Paskvan got the green light to secretly pack heat, AS Solution bodyguard Jonathan Taunton did, too. A few months later, so did another Nielsen executive protector, Leonard Lawrence.

Sources inside AS Solution say Nielsen’s the handler for the company’s contract to guard Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, among others, and Taunton, Lawrence and Paskvan were part of a team he assembled.

But those same sources say that, to their knowledge, there was no professional need for those gun permits. Facebook has been a client for years, “so there couldn’t have been any pressure on that end, either,” a security veteran remarked in a recent phone chat.

Whatever the case, it’s unlikely Nielsen acted alone.

Someone else deposited $70,000 into his Citibank account just before he cut that $45,000 personal check to the pro-Smith Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance committee—a sequence of events that seems to violate laws against donation laundering.

If the money that dropped into Nielsen’s account came from anyone associated with Facebook, it didn’t necessarily work out badly for the social media giant.

The Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance spent either $67,500 or $50,904 on Facebook ads, depending on whether you believe the committee’s Oct. 30, 2018, filing (the larger figure) or Facebook’s new political ads database.

Source: Facebook.com/ads/library

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5 Comments

  1. > Facebook’s Executive Protection Firm Received Four Gun Permits

    What about the other 149,996 law-abiding American citizens in Santa Clara County who want gun permits?

    Could we get a Back To School special or a Halloween Special, or a Holiday Special? It’s the time of year where a lot of people start their Christmas Shopping, or Kwanzaa Shopping, or whatever.

  2. Money talks. Unless you give the good Sheriff a boatload of cash, you can go fornicate yourself.

    How about SJ inside investigate these shady organizations that raise money for our hopelessly inept and corrupt Sheriff?

    Or, are you afraid of what names you will find?

  3. “there was no professional need for those gun permits”

    Politics & legality are professional needs.

    Politics: Sheryl Sandberg is a noted advocate of infringing the human right to effective self-defense/violator of 18 USC 241. It’s not a good look for a conspirator against rights like her, to have visibly-armed bodyguard(s). And then, Facebook moderation militates against lawful exercise of this human right, for which the buck stops at CEO Zuckerberg.

    Legality:
    Even if all their duty carry is concealed, BSIS requires security guards have both an exposed firearm permit from them, and a Chief Law Enforcement Officer-issued concealed carry permit. Let’s look up these people’s BSIS records…

    (note each of them have a different county of residence on their licenses below, FWIW)

    Martin Nielsen, since 2002 https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/1202/FQ/255270/d303b079835616379cfda1618b4ccd61

    Rachael Paskvan, since 2016 https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/1202/FQ/2614567/1d5dd65f00649bbfa7c54c9265932fe9

    Jonathan Taunton, since 2016 https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/1202/FQ/2620236/da7ff1b7f264154b5407a9d4ecaee0cf

    Leonard Lawrence, since 2017 https://search.dca.ca.gov/details/1202/FQ/2625458/cf44881dc914c13b4c1699f089cfc636

    It is possible that one or more bodyguards for Facebook were concealed carrying before Smith or any other CLEO issued them a permit to do so. Discretion to not arrest them & actually respect human rights would be one thing, but considering Sheriff Smith’s human rights infringement of the proles & not the Party, there should be enough to indict.

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