District Commissioners announce inappropriate surveillance allegation investigation of Jackson County employee

Latest details on inappropriate surveillance investigation

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating an allegation of inappropriate surveillance at the Jackson County Courthouse.

On Monday, the four Jackson County District Commissioners announced they had been advised by ALEA that an investigation was underway involving a Jackson County employee. The statement makes no mention of the Jackson County Commission Chairman.

In the statement, the District Commissioners detailed they take the allegation seriously and plan to fully cooperate with the investigation.

As part of the Courthouse Security Plan, a number of surveillance cameras and sound systems were installed in public locations and common areas at the Courthouse. Neither the District Commissioners nor the Courthouse Security Committee were aware of the placement of the particular camera involved in the present investigation. The Commissioners first became aware of the location of this camera on Tuesday, December 15. According to Monday’s statement, steps were taken the same day to have the device removed.

Jackson County Commission Vice Chairman Jason Venable has called for a special commission meeting on Tuesday, December 22. The meeting agenda lists only one item for discussion as “Accepting a resignation and related administrative matters.”

The full statement released on December 21:

The four District Commissioners of the Jackson County Commission have been advised that an investigation is underway by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency involving an allegation of inappropriate surveillance of a Jackson County Employee at the Jackson County Courthouse. The Commissioners take this allegation very seriously and are providing full cooperation with the investigation.

As part of the Courthouse Security Plan, after several serious incidents at the Courthouse involving firearms, a number of surveillance cameras and sound systems were installed in public locations and common areas at the Courthouse. The camera at the secured entrance to the Courthouse proved invaluable in determining the sequence of events that led to a Sheriff’s Deputy having to use his firearm to defend himself against an aggressive armed patron.

Neither these Commissioners nor the Courthouse Security Committee were aware of the placement of the particular camera involved in the present investigation. The Commissioners first became aware of the location of this camera on Tuesday, December 15 and took steps the same day to have the devise removed. Until the investigation is complete, the Commissioners will have no comment on whether or not the installation of this camera was warranted for legitimate security purposes.

The Commissioners had no further comment as the matter is still under investigation.

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