Hidden Camera Lawsuit Is on Its Last Legs

     HOUSTON (CN) – A Houston Community College security guard who was secretly recorded changing clothes has little hope of sustaining a lawsuit, a federal judge ruled.



     When someone began stealing books from the Coleman College library, maintenance director Timothy Rychlec had Kratos Defense and Security Solutions install four hidden cameras on campus.
     A college police lieutenant picked out the installation locations, including a 10-by-10-foot office at Coleman College used by members of the security, police, fire and maintenance staff.
     Suspecting that employees of Aramark Management Services might be stealing the library books, Rychlec never told the college facilities manager about the cameras.
     Security officer Alfreda Jones filed suit after finding out about the camera in the office, which she sometimes used to change in and out of uniform.
     The complaint alleges invasion of privacy and violations of the Fourth and 14th Amendments, seeking relief from Houston Community College, Kratos, Kratos Texas, Rychlec, Vice-Chancellor of Finance and Administration Gloria Walker, and Aramark Management Services.
     After granting the defendants summary judgment on Jones’ claims Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed all but one claim with prejudice.
     That remaining charge is a state-law claim for invasion of privacy against Aramark, which the contractor had not addressed in its motion for summary judgment.
     Noting that Jones could not sustain charges against Kratos despite having more evidence on that defendant, Rosenthal left little hope for the future of the Aramark claim.
     “The evidence that Aramark intruded upon Jones’s seclusion is much weaker than the evidence that Kratos did so,” the 20-page order states.
     “Unlike Kratos, who installed and later removed the security office camera, Aramark did not know about the camera,” Rosenthal added.
     Jones has until August 13 to supply additional evidence in support of the remaining claim against Aramark.
     Kimberly Mason, another security officer who sued alongside Jones, has settled or otherwise resolved her claims against the defendants.

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