Georgia Firefighter Arrested For Hiding Bathroom Cam in Women’s Bathroom in Firehouse

A Georgia firefighter is facing multiple charges related to a hidden recording device found in a women’s bathroom in a Columbus fire station.

Chester Leon Whitley, 29, is currently facing eight criminal charges brought by the Columbus Police Department. The charges include one count each of unlawful surveillance and violation of oath, and six counts of attempted unlawful surveillance.

The recording device was found in October, and turned over the Columbus Police Department for investigation. WRBL quoted Mayor Skip Henderson as saying “We did a sweep of the other stations and didn’t find anything.”

Whitley’s attorney, Stacey Jackson, said on Friday that he expects the case to go to a grand jury and that his client remains in jail pending the posting of a $60,000 bond.

BTW: This is not the first case of this type, nor is it an isolated occurrence. My database has 26 other cases from fire departments large and small, career, combination and volunteer involving hidden bathroom/dorm cams. Does your fire department have a policy on digital imagery, photography and recording in the workplace? If not, we have a webinar on January 13, 2021 that can help: Drafting and Implementing an Effective Digital Imagery Policy. Join us at 1 PM Eastern on January 13, 2021.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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