A top local executive in the insurance industry was handcuffed and taken into custody inside an Arapahoe County courtroom Friday morning after being charged with two felony criminal counts.
Charles “Chuck” McDaniel, 61, of Cherry Hills Village, was charged this month with two counts of sexual assault on a child, according to online court records.
The charge applies to “any sexual contact” with an individual less than 15 years old if the perpetrator is at least four years older and not the child’s spouse, according to state code. It is typically a class four felony, but can be a harsher class three felony when additional factors are at play.
McDaniel’s charges are both class three felonies. Class three felonies carry a minimum sentence of four years and a maximum sentence of 12 years.
McDaniel’s LinkedIn profile says he is a senior managing director with California-based Alliant Insurance Services. The firm announced his hiring in a 2019 press release, saying McDaniel would be based in Denver and “lead the Alliant Specialty retail vertical for Real Estate & Hospitality.” Alliant did not respond to requests for comment Thursday and Friday.
On Friday, McDaniel appeared before Arapahoe County Judge James Xavier Quinn so bond could be set.
Wearing dark blue jeans and a blue-and-white checkered button-down shirt, and sporting facial hair that his recently removed LinkedIn profile picture lacks, McDaniel said only “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir” in response to questions from the judge, along with “I have” when asked if he’d talked to his lawyer about the case.
McDaniel’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg of Springer & Steinberg, told the judge the alleged female victim in the case was 14 years old at the time in question.
A Cherry Hills Village police officer initially spoke to the alleged victim in September 2022 after a report was made through Colorado’s Safe2Tell program, which encourages students to report concerning behavior, according to a partially redacted arrest warrant affidavit. BusinessDen is not detailing McDaniel’s connection to the child and other details in order to protect the child’s privacy.
Steinberg told the judge that his client had known about an investigation into the allegations since September 2022, and that he travels extensively for work.
“If he was a flight risk, he had six months to flee,” Steinberg said. “If he was going to interfere with a witness, he had six months to do that.”
Steinberg said McDaniel was in Florida when he learned the investigation had resulted in charges.
“He got on a flight immediately and was back here,” Steinberg said.
Steinberg asked that bond be set at $25,000, and that no restrictions be placed on McDaniel’s travel. Prosecutors had requested that McDaniel be ordered to have no contact with anyone under 18, a standard ask for such charges. But Steinberg requested McDaniel be allowed to see his grandchildren, the oldest of whom is 3.
Deputy District Attorney Gwenn Sandrock asked that bond be set at $50,000, and alluded to McDaniel being wealthy.
“No matter what the court would set bond at, defendant would be able to post,” she said.
Judge Quinn ultimately set bond at $50,000, said McDaniel can travel for work and allowed him to see his grandchildren as long as one of their parents is present.
McDaniel was joined by seven supporters in the courtroom, including multiple adult children and an ex-wife. At 9:17, about 15 minutes after his hearing started, McDaniel was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Contacted by BusinessDen on the way out of the room, Steinberg declined to comment.
McDaniel previously worked for Kansas City-based Lockton Cos. for more than two decades. He was CEO of the Mountain West region from 2000 to 2018, when he was demoted.
McDaniel resigned from Lockton in early 2019 and joined Alliant. About two dozen other Denver-based Lockton employees resigned from the firm and joined Alliant around the same time.
Litigation quickly followed. The employees who jumped ship sued Lockton in Denver in an effort to void their noncompete agreements, The Denver Post reported at the time, and Lockton sought a temporary restraining order in its home of Jackson County, Missouri. On March 22, 2019, Lockton sued Alliant in Delaware Chancery Court.
Delaware Chancery Court Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, summarizing the facts before him in a June 2019 opinion, wrote that Alliant didn’t have a Denver office before hiring McDaniel and other ex-Lockton employees. To convince McDaniel to join Alliant, the firm “offered him guaranteed compensation worth nearly $20 million,” with the potential to earn an additional $15 million, although the firm expected McDaniel would use some of that money to induce other Lockton employees to join him, the document states.
Lockton said in a Missouri court filing that McDaniel was demoted in 2018 following his “repeated display of hostile and menacing behavior that created a toxic environment for associates,” according to the Post. The company claimed McDaniel berated and physically intimidated an employee to the point that the man collapsed and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital, the newspaper reported.
A trust in McDaniel’s name owns a home in Cherry Hills Village that Zillow says is 11,500 square feet on 2.5 acres, with seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The trust paid $3.85 million for it in 2015, records show.
BusinessDen staffer Justin Wingerter contributed reporting.