Meet Charles Ciccotti, registered private investigator. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in government administration/criminal justice administration at Christopher Newport University, he obtained a post-baccalaureate certificate from Virginia Commonwealth University and went on to serve 27 years with the Virginia State Police, retiring as a sergeant.
Ciccotti knew some attorneys who needed investigators and this led to the 2004 opening of Ciccotti Enterprises in Portsmouth.
“For the first 14 years, I was by myself,” Ciccotti says. “Then I started an investigation arm in another person’s firm.”
Enter retired FBI agent Patrick “Ed” Buckley, who joined Ciccotti. And in January 2017, the two investigators formed the private investigative firm, Ciccotti & Buckley, LLC.
Balancing out this team of investigators is Karen Morgan, who came to the firm in March of 2018. A graduate of Old Dominion University with a masters degree in public administration, Morgan previously worked as a paralegal and then a special agent for the FBI. After six years as a financial fraud investigator with Wells Fargo, she followed her heart for investigative work and contacted Buckley to find out about registering as a private investigator, becoming Ciccotti & Buckley’s office manager.
“When neither of us is here we know the office is going to run (probably) better than if we were here,” Ciccotti says of Morgan’s expertise in handling the office. “You hit the door and if there’s a problem, you know Karen has already solved it. It makes our work easier and more enjoyable.”
Ciccotti, Buckley, Morgan and their five specialized, registered investigators bring more than 200 years of law enforcement/investigative experience to their work.
“We pride ourselves in being a professional investigative firm,” Ciccotti says. “We don’t do bounty hunting, bonds or securities. We do one thing and do it well. We have reliable people with targeted expertise. We’re a full-service investigative firm; whether it’s criminal, civil, locating somebody or fraud work.”
“It’s a new challenge every day,” says Morgan. “Though there may be a lot of domestic cases, the players and circumstances are different. In almost every case you feel like you’re helping someone.”
Ciccotti considers himself blessed to have two FBI agents onboard.
“They’re polished, know how to deal with people and bring experience because of their exposure,” Ciccotti says. “The FBI’s networking is awesome. If we’re looking for somebody in California, Ed calls his retired agent contacts and we get an investigator there.”
Buckley handles the outside investigators, and Morgan and Ciccotti handle administration.
Often clients’ expectations are falsely elevated because of television. “We don’t pick locks, can’t drill holes in somebody’s bedroom. We don’t drive a red Ferrari,” Ciccotti says. “That’s television stuff.”
By the time a client contacts Ciccotti & Buckley, things are not going right in their life.
“It’s a very delicate situation, due to heightened emotions,” Morgan says. “We try not to take things personally.”
Many times because of the mystique behind what private investigators can and cannot do, people expect them to put cameras in hotel rooms and do things even law enforcement can’t.
Ciccotti & Buckley typically has new clients come in for a free consultation to discuss the potential investigation.
“More often than not, we’ve tried to talk people out of doing forensics because we don’t want them to spend money,” Morgan says.
Ciccotti, Buckley and Morgan offer presentations at no charge to civic and cultural groups. Morgan speaks on fraud and similar subjects; Buckley speaks on thorough background checks for employees, including the technical side of being a bomb tech agent. Ciccotti also offers his expertise.
Ciccotti recently purchased a drone. “I’m going to get certified by the FAA to operate it,” he says. “I’m excited about getting out and trying to fly it.”
A stamp of approval comes from Joseph Verser, of Heath, Overbey, Verser & Old, P.L.C. “My firm has had Charlie and his office handle investigations for our personal injury cases. We have been impressed with both his professionalism and his work product,” Verser says.
Ciccotti says. “We’ve got the experience, the assets in house and the contacts to do the job right. I’m as proud of this investigative firm as I’ve ever been,” Ciccotti. “I’m excited to come to work every day.”
Ciccotti & Buckley, LLC
Address: 500 E. Plume Street, Ste. 210, Norfolk, VA 23510