North Alabama Courthouse swept for inappropriate surveillance cameras

State / Regional

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — The Jackson County Commissioners Office moved ahead with a professional search of the courthouse, and a number of other county buildings in Scottsboro, after the discovery of a surveillance camera that may have been used to inappropriately watch a female employee. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is currently investigating those allegations.

The commission had surveillance cameras installed at the Jackson County courthouse to enhance security after some incidents involving firearms, including one from 2019 when a man was shot by a deputy after trying to bring a loaded handgun inside.

One of the cameras, though, caused concern enough for the State Bureau of Investigation to look into it. It was discovered on Dec. 15 and was ultimately removed.

“It should be concerning to everybody that works in this courthouse. They should not have to worry about cameras in offices where they don’t belong,” said Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips.

One day after the investigation was made public, Commission Chairman Tim Guffey resigned vaguely citing health reasons. In a statement, he said, “ I did not consult the other commissioners on where to place the cameras.”

It goes on to say “No cameras were ever intended for purposes other than observance of command areas.”

District 3 Commissioner AJ Buckner told News 19 that so far, they have found no evidence that any other cameras are where they should not be, but they would like to go through a security sweep process to be sure.

No word from officials on whether Tuesday’s sweep turned up any inappropriately placed surveillance cameras. The investigation by ALEA is ongoing.

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