City Manager: Security contract under review after VP’s arrest at Lowell High

Timothy Grover, 55, of Dracut, and founder of The Megan’s House Foundation, talks with police Monday after being taken into custody outside the Lowell High School for allegedly attacking three females. AARON CURTIS/LOWELL SUN

LOWELL — The city is reviewing its contract with a security company days after the vice president of the organization was arrested outside Lowell High School on a number of charges, including assault with intent to rape.

City Manager Eileen Donoghue said on Thursday she asked the city’s Law Department to review the city’s one active contract with Madison Security Group. The announcement comes after Lowell Public Schools notified the security company it will no longer use its services, according to Latifah Phillips, the district’s chief equity and engagement officer.

Timothy Grover is the vice president of Madison Security Group, a company headquartered on Kirk Street in Lowell across from Lowell High. Police arrested Grover on Monday afternoon after authorities say the 55-year-old Dracut man entered Lowell High School “highly intoxicated” and threatened to sexually assault a 20-year-old woman in one of the school’s classrooms. According to prosecutors, he then walked to the school’s auditorium where he assaulted an 18-year-old male student.

He was stopped by police on Kirk Street following the incident. Assistant District Attorney Gregory Galizio described Grover as “highly combative” during attempts to take him into custody.

The attorney representing Grover, Daniel Thompson, has said his client denies these charges “in their entirety.”

Grover is also the founder of The Megan’s House Foundation, a long-term, residential, substance-abuse treatment home for young women in Lowell. Grover established the organization after his daughter, Megan, died of an overdose at age 26 in 2014. The organization released a statement distancing itself from Grover on Wednesday.

“Providing a safe and supportive environment for the young women we serve is our daily focus,” according to a statement released on social media. “Recent news related to our founder, who has not been involved with any aspect of our operations for 18 months, does not impact our commitment and dedication to the ultimate goal of Megan’s House — improving the quality of life of its residents.”

Madison Security Group is currently contracted by the city to provide security for its garages. The three-year, $2.4 million contract with the city was approved in October 2018 with a start date of Jan. 1, 2019.

This year, the city agreed to pay up to $755,000 to the company secure five city parking garages. The annual maximum cost gradually increases over the next two years with the possibility for amendments to cover the garage currently under construction in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District.

According to the language of the contract, the city may terminate the agreement “at any time, with or without cause” by providing two weeks written notice.

A woman who answered the phone at Madison Security Group hung up without comment when reached by The Sun on Thursday. The company is headquartered in Lowell with offices in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Alabama and Florida, according to its website.

Until last month, the city of Lowell had a second contract with Madison Security Group for security at Pollard Memorial Library, according to Donoghue. The contract was passed to another company at the start of the fiscal year on July 1, she said.

Phillips said the school district received services on a limited basis from Madison Security Group through a “long-standing” purchase order. The company responded to nighttime alarms and occasional instances of vandalism, according to Phillips.

Through the order, the company could charge the schools up to $5,000 annually. The company sent a $550 bill to the district charging for services provided in July 2019, according to district documents.

Lowell High School and other district schools started classes as planned on Tuesday, the day after the incident.

A judge in Lowell District Court ordered Grover to be held without bail during his arraignment earlier this week. Grover is due back in court on Friday for a dangerousness hearing.

He faces charges of assault with intent to rape, two counts of assault and battery, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of threat to commit a crime, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.