Employee Accuses Scripps Station of Coverup

CLEVELAND (CN) – An E.W. Scripps news station in Cleveland installed a hidden camera in a men’s restroom and then destroyed the evidence when the camera was discovered, an employee claims.
     Brad Brown sued the E.W. Scripps Co. Inc. and WEWS Newschannel 5’s director of engineering and operations Barry Pinney on Tuesday in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
     “Prior to July 2014, Pinney procured hidden cameras for the purpose of spying on Scripps employees working in the WEWS building,” Brown says in the lawsuit. “At least one of the hidden cameras was a fire sprinkler hidden camera, which used a wide-angle video lens concealed in a non-functioning sprinkler fixture to covertly capture video images.”
     Brown claims the sprinkler camera was installed in a first-floor men’s restroom used by employees and visitors, and that “the secret installation of the fire sprinkler hidden camera in the men’s restroom was never disclosed to those who customarily used or would reasonably be expected to use the men’s restroom.”
     The camera transmitted images to a computer monitor in Pinney’s office and to the security desk at the rear entrance of the building, Brown says.
     He claims, “The images broadcast on the security monitor were observable by people walking through the common area surrounding the security desk.”
     A Scripps employee saw the images on the security on July 13, and informed his supervisor.
     “The next day, Scripps Vice President and WEWS General Manager Sam Rosenwasser, who was Pinney’s direct supervisor, learned of the hidden camera and questioned Pinney about it. Pinney confirmed the presence of the hidden camera and the existence of digital video recordings,” the complaint states.
     “Rosenwasser knew that the installation of the hidden camera in the men’s restroom violated Ohio law and that the video recordings would be evidence of unlawful, tortious activity, which could become the subject of a lawsuit. Despite this knowledge, Scripps deleted the video recordings that day.”
     Brown seeks compensatory and punitive damages for invasion of privacy and spoliation of evidence.
     He claims that “until its removal … the fire sprinkler hidden camera secretly captured, transmitted, recorded and broadcast images of people using the men’s restroom, including their private activities (inter alia, urinating, defecating, undressing, executing personal medical procedures, performing personal hygiene functions). These images included persons’ genitals.”
     Brown is represented by Tom Merriman, with Landskroner, Grieco and Merriman.

%d bloggers like this: