Nicole Miller, President/CEO
Nicole graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology, Law and Society, and is a long-standing member with the nation’s oldest academic Honor Society, PHI BETA KAPPA. After serving as a Deputy Sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Nicole entered the field of private investigations and has now been conducting criminal and civil investigations for twenty years with over a decade of those years focused on investigations for school districts. Nicole is also a Subject Matter Expert for the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services and was selected to participate in the development of the occupational analysis for the Bureau’s Private Investigator Qualified Manager Licensing Examination, which is required for licensure in the State of California. Nicole is passionate about supporting education and serving the needs of certificated and classified staff, students, parents, unions and administrators alike. She places a high value on the education of her staff as well through continued training on matters such as Title IX, Title V, California Education Code and District board policies and administrative regulations. Seeing a need for Districts to develop policies and procedures to address growing security and safety concerns, Nicole has partnered with leading security experts to provide campus risk and vulnerability assessments, offering practical recommendations to counter potential threats. Nicole is dedicated to providing unbiased and fact based investigations while carefully applying best practices in regard to confidentiality and retaliation, meticulously examining evidence and ensuring a transparent and impartial investigative process. She thoroughly reviews every investigative report submitted by her firm’s expert investigators and has earned a singular reputation for exceptional service to her firm’s many clients within the State of California.
Ara RaisDana, Senior Investigator,
Ara RaisDana has conducted a multitude of school district investigations, specializing in human resources and compliance. She has a keen ability to write well organized and factual investigative reports, and prides herself in promptly addressing client correspondence, meticulously reviewing evidence and completing detailed investigative reports in a timely manner. Ara is Westlaw certified and applies her research expertise where necessary. She has utilized her law degree to provide pro bono services to those in need of legal assistance. Her voluntary services have included mediating small claims cases at the Superior Court of San Diego County, assisting victims of domestic violence at the San Diego Family Justice Center, providing legal aid at the Orange County Public Law Center and being a court appointed special advocate for children in the foster system.
Steve Doan, Senior Investigator,
Safety and Security
Steve is a former Division Commander for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department whose career spanned over 28 years, during which time he gained professional experience in field/patrol operations, criminal and traffic investigation, special operations, dignitary protection and intelligence, media relations, training and law enforcement. Since retiring from the Sheriff’s Department, Steve served as the Chief of Police for the city of Laguna Hills before joining Nicole Miller & Associates, Inc., as a Senior Investigator. Steve excels in his ability to quickly foster productive working relationships with all participants of an investigation while maintaining and protecting fundamental goals of confidentiality and impartiality. Steve’s expertise is primarily focused on investigations involving school police and security departments in accordance with CA Education Code and CA Penal Code. Steve maintains vast experience in matters of use of force, Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBR) and other matters pertaining to District and Department safety and security policies.
Martin Hanneman, Director,
Safety and Security
Martin has been providing security services to California’s Educational Institutions for over a decade. After serving as a military pilot in the UK Commando Forces, Martin worked in the field of emergency services, gaining critical experience in multi-agency emergency response operations and disaster relief. Upon returning to California, Martin became a successful business program manager in the defense industry. Martin’s primary specialty is carrying out vulnerability and risk assessments on many facilities throughout Orange County, including schools, government facilities, factories, and corporate offices. He currently leads a county-wide law enforcement project through The Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) for improving school security, in addition to leading numerous District wide security assessments and trainings.
Mackenzie Kintz, Senior Investigator, Forensic Analytics
Mackenzie’s previous work experience at a large public educational institution in Southern California provided her with a unique set of employment skills and practices that public sector work requires, including a high degree of financial acumen specific to management of public funds. Mackenzie’s natural curiosity, experience and meticulous eye for detail have proven her a consummate investigator. Mackenzie has conducted numerous investigations with a focus in forensic analytics specific to school districts, typically following a significant loss of funds or property has been reported. Audits in this regard involve complex financial and record keeping processes of monies funded from a variety of sources, including general funds, student monies held in trust to associated student bodies, and federal grants. Mackenzie’s investigations have revealed sufficient evidence to sustain employee misconduct on multiple levels, ranging from a general lack of stewardship up to misappropriation and theft. Based on the overwhelming evidence compiled by Mackenzie in forensic investigations from District records, third-party vendors, social media and other online resources, Districts are provided with a comprehensive and discerning report detailing the processes which led to the undesired outcome, including any employee misconduct, thus enabling Districts to implement personnel and process changes necessary to safeguard District and student funds.
Alyssa Jarvis, Senior Investigator, Educational Services and
Alyssa’s graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and previous work experience as a social worker provided her with an excellent foundation on which she has proven her skill in engendering open and effective lines of communication, not just with clients and attorneys, but with education professionals, students, and parents. Alyssa prides herself on maintaining an enthusiastic attitude with an emphasis on interpersonal justice, thereby cultivating a strong rapport with clients and fact-based, impartial findings. Alyssa has conducted a wide variety of school district investigations with a specific focus in student services and special education, often following claims of abuse/negligence or misconduct towards students. Alyssa’s investigations have required a diligent eye for detail and the ability to analyze and apply District policies and procedures as well as California Education Code, while recognizing criminal elements that must be reported to local law enforcement. In addition to sustaining multiple accounts of employee misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse/battery, the evidence reviewed in Alyssa’s investigations has enabled Districts to assess the effectiveness of programs and determine necessary changes and improvements.
Lisa Strachan, Senior Investigator, Administrative and Employee Relations
Lisa’s previous work experience in the field of human resources has contributed to her knowledge of employment standards and practices, particularly in regard to policy compliance, performance issues and employee relations. Her education, having earned a degree in journalism, instilled in her strong investigative skills and an ability to clearly convey facts in her writing. Lisa is careful and resourceful in nature; demonstrates meticulous attention to detail; and maintains focus on accuracy, rationality and logic throughout the totality of her investigations. She excels at differentiating perception versus fact and examining all angles of participant statements to establish a detailed and factual assessment of one’s credibility. Lisa has conducted a number of investigations, most often involving claims of harassment, discrimination and hostile work environment. Her investigations have revealed sufficient evidence to support or deny such claims due to her diligence in considering all aspects of documentary evidence, witness testimony and participant credibility prior to drawing impartial and fact-based findings. Lisa’s thoroughness has often resulted in ancillary findings beyond the scope of the initial investigation, which have proven beneficial in aiding the District to determine the appropriate course of action following the investigation. Overall, Lisa’s unwavering work ethic and commitment to the client have enabled her to consistently produce comprehensive, succinctly written and unbiased investigative reports within the confines of critical deadlines.
Brittney Hamilton, SENIOR Investigator
Brittney’s prior experience as a California attorney allowed her to develop keen writing, critical thinking, negotiating, and interpersonal skills; she also became proficient in evaluating large amounts of information for factors vital to any investigation, including factualness, relevancy, and credibility. Brittney’s research skills and versatility have enabled her to successfully conduct an array of investigative services such as surveillance, subpoena service, background checks, social media reviews, and threat assessments. In addition, Brittney has worked with Nicole Miller & Associates, Inc.’s Senior Safety and Security staff to evaluate and make findings concerning school district police departments’ use of force policies and procedures. Brittney has found a true passion in her role as an investigator because it affords her the opportunity to serve as an impartial and objective third party whose goal is to report fact-based information. Brittney’s investigations reflect her ability to look beyond obvious conclusions and understand the complete picture when analyzing a body of evidence.
Kalene VanHuss, Lead Investigator
With administrative and teaching experience in private educational institutions in Southern California, Kalene has special insight into the organizational and administrative structures of higher education and secondary education institutions. Kalene’s ability to conduct careful, detailed research and approach problems creatively has made her a meticulous investigator. Her experience working with professors and as a professor herself has given her skill in interacting and developing rapport with individuals at all levels of higher and secondary education institutions – administrators, faculty, and students alike. Through her determined communication with both current and former students and employees, and her persistence in locating and assessing large quantities of records and data, Kalene’s investigations have provided sufficient evidence to substantiate extensive history of employee misconduct, including sexual harassment and retaliation. In her numerous investigations involving discrimination and harassment, Kalene has demonstrated drive and determination in pursuing all avenues of the investigation in order to provide Districts with the most thorough findings, thereby allowing the Districts to make informed administrative decisions.
Kristie Minji Patterson, Lead Investigator
Kristie’s educational background in literature analysis has provided her with the foundation to conduct record reviews and analyses of extensive documentary evidence, looking past the obvious conclusions. Kristie’s commitment to impartial fact-finding and natural aptitude for analysis ensures that her investigative reports are written with a comprehensive understanding and discerning assessment of all facets of a case. Kristie values providing the utmost quality of service to clients and carries over a passion for pursuing organizational justice with previous experience in human rights advocacy and social work. Kristie’s past experience working for a civil litigation firm cultivated a skill set in writing objectively while considering the legal implications and liability concerns surrounding an incident. Kristie has conducted numerous investigations involving a wide range of allegations, including misconduct involving students with Individualized Education Programs, misappropriation of funds, harassment, hostile work environment, and teacher-student misconduct. Through the evidence compiled by Kristie in forensic investigations and her thorough analysis of all facts, Districts are provided with a comprehensive report enabling the District to implement any changes to policy or procedure necessary to protect students and District funds.
Jacqueline Lee, LEAD Investigator
Jacqueline has over a decade of experience working as a journalist during which time she specialized in crime, politics, education and city governance. Her reporting included investigating financial contributions of political candidates at the local, county and national level; building databases to show complex regional patterns of prescription drug overdoses; tracing the impact of tax financing to local businesses and developers; and documenting public employee pension abuses. As an investigator, she has assessed incidents at community colleges and K-12 schools related to employee misconduct, athletic eligibility and Title IX discrimination complaints related to sexual assault, disability and retaliation. Her background as a journalist means her investigations are fair, thorough and accurate, and her writing explains complex findings in accessible prose.