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RJD Security, the company started by Rocco J. Diina that became the largest private security business in Western New York, has been sold.

A company attorney, Lawrence J. Mattar, confirmed Saturday that the company has signed a sale contract with U.S. Security Associates, a nationwide company based in Atlanta.

"The contract was signed last week," and RJD is expected to change hands within the next few days, Mattar said.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but local authorities in the security field said they believe RJD is worth at least $2 million because of its wide and varied client list.

Diina, a deputy police commissioner and unsuccessful candidate for sheriff in last month's election, could not be reached to comment.

Some sources at City Hall believe the sale of RJD clears the way for his eventual appointment as Buffalo's next police commissioner. R. Gil Kerlikowske, the current commissioner, has been looking for a job in Washington, D.C.

A source close to Mayor Masiello said Saturday that no decisions have been made and that Kerlikowske has yet to be offered another job.

"Nothing is imminent, by any means," the source said.

Republican Patrick J. Gallivan, who defeated Diina by a landslide in the sheriff's race, repeatedly claimed during the campaign that Diina's ownership of the security company would cause conflicts of interest if Diina won the election.

Diina denied the allegation, saying he has had no active part in the company's operations since becoming deputy police commissioner in 1994. He said his brother, Anthony, runs the company.

Although he continues to deny the conflict-of-interest allegations, Diina is tired of hearing them, according to a close friend in the Police Department.

"Rocco denies there ever was a conflict of interest, but he's tired of getting battered with it," the friend said.

The friend added that the Diina family was thinking of selling the company before the sheriff's election campaign even began.

RJD, based at 134 W. Chippewa St., was founded by Diina in 1978. The company began as a small operation, providing security at one building on Delaware Avenue.

The company has grown into Western New York's largest private security business, employing more than 800. Its guards watch approximately 200 different sites and businesses, including Marine Midland Arena, New York City's Carnegie Hall and many local public buildings, office buildings, hospitals and school districts.

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