What do you do when you answer a phone call from a co-worker and realize that he called you by accident, but now you can hear his whole side conversation about your boss? Record it, of course!
When Carol Spaw, Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, responded to a pocket-dial from fellow board member James Huff, she overheard a private conversation between Huff, his wife Bertha and his colleague, Larry Savage, discussing the possibility of firing Spaw’s boss, Candace McGraw, from her position as CEO. Even after realizing the call wasn’t meant for her, Spaw did not hang up.
This brings eavesdropping to a whole new level. According to a report that appeared in Amlaw, Spaw recorded a portion of the conversation after putting it on loudspeaker for her colleagues to hear, and took notes because of the incriminating nature of the discussion.
Unbeknownst to her, because of her indiscretion, she was in violation of Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq, because she intentionally intercepted and exploited information that was not meant for her to hear.
The pocket dial happened while Huff was on vacation in Italy, after he had previously called Spaw regarding dinner reservations. Because the second call seemed muffled, Spaw asked colleague Nancy Hill to help decipher what Huff was saying after repeatedly answering “hello” and getting no response.
It took 90 seconds for Spaw and Hill to realize that the call was not actually meant for Spaw. They listened to the entire 91 minutes of the phone call and recorded Huff and Savage’s conversation as evidence of potential discrimination against McGraw.
After transcribing the recording and transferring the recording to a thumb drive, she shared her typewritten summary with other members of the board. Eventually, Huff got wind of the situation and filed a formal complaint against Spaw, alleging that she had deliberately intercepted the call and disclosed information about his discussion in violation of Title III.
The Huffs did not win the case, however, and the judge ruled that pocket dials are not protected phone calls and constitute an open forum.
As reported by CBSNews, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Danny J. Boggs held that anything spoken over cellular lines is fair game, whether the call was intended for you or not.
Nice try, James Huff. If anything, this case proves the fact that the very technology we rely on can easily be turned against us. Here’s a rule of thumb (drive) to those who are predisposed to chatter: Exercise caution when gossiping, or discussing confidential information about a co-worker’s future. You never know who might be listening.
Most people would just hang up and act responsibly, But this BITCH recorded it and tried to gain personally from it. At the least she deserves to be fired at most she needs to be charged criminally.