Dority discusses security business
Credits ‘hostage’ situation with jump-starting career
By DAN PARSONS
There are at least two sides to every story, and Greg Dority wants both sides to get equal billing.
With offenses committed during his years as a student at N.C. State University being recently aired, Dority, a Washington Republican running for lieutenant governor, recently challenged the media to investigate another event of his youth that garnered national attention rather than campus-wide attention.
In 1983, Dority was working as a security shift supervisor at the Washington bureau of ABC News. On Aug. 29, a gunman stormed the studio and demanded to speak with “someone important” minutes before “World News Tonight” was to go on the air live. “World News Tonight” was then hosted by Peter Jennings, who was in the building preparing for the newscast when the gunman entered. Dority, then 24, was taken hostage by the gunman. Dority convinced the gunman the studio was on the sixth floor of the building.
Dority said he used training he had received working security jobs at N.C. State and Carolina Power &Light to “neutralize” the gunman. Dority told the Daily News he repeatedly gauged the gunman’s reaction to certain movements before physically disarming the gunman.
Published accounts of the incident, including a clipping from the Aug. 31, 1983, edition of The Washington Post supplied by Dority, report that he “talked” the gunman into “surrendering” his pistol.
Dority credits that incident with jump-starting his career in the international-security field, about which he has, until recently, been reluctant to answer questions about.
In 1995, Dority was approved for a North Carolina guard and patrol license, which is required to operate a private security business in the state.
Dority opened an office on Union Drive in Washington that provided uniformed security guards to private businesses, but he said the business was not profitable enough. Leaning on contacts Dority said he made as a result of the ABC News incident, he began “traveling overseas.” As a “security consultant,” he spent time in Bosnia, Albania and other Balkan countries, he said. He also said he learned to speak Albanian.
When asked recently to read a short list of common Albania phrases, Dority all but failed to translate them.
Dority said he had not been to Albania since 2003.
While in the Balkans, Dority said, he began to “develop a capacity in security consulting on the ground … knowing the good and bad places … knowing the players.”
That knowledge, said Dority, led him to become an “experienced guide” for Western businessmen traveling to the Balkans. Through his business, Sterling Securities, Dority said he would advise a client on everything he or she would need to know to survive a trip or an extended stay in the 1980s Balkan war zone.
Dority’s wife died of cancer in 2003, the same year he lost his home to Hurricane Isabel. As a single parent, Dority said he decided to take a step back from the “high risk” aspects of his security career overseas. At the time, Dority said, he was working as a contractor for World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, providing services such as “food security.” Dority said he continues to have clients in Bosnia.
Dority’s source of income since 2003 is unclear, but Dority said he is a “very conservative guy” who doesn’t spend a lot of money. In 2006, he was elected president of the Washington Girls Softball League, a nonpaid position he said monopolizes most of his time. On his campaign’s Web site, he lists that and past leadership roles with the Friends of the Brown Library as participation in civic organizations.