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Nashville DA Spends $32K on Cameras to Spy On Public, Employees

April 05, 2023

Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk’s office is under investigation by the Tennessee Attorney General for recording audio of visitors and employees without their knowledge, and spending $32,000 on cameras, according to an Open the Books investigation.

The DA’s office bought $32,000 worth of cameras and supportive equipment from October 2020 to August 2021 from vendor Southern Contracting, and records show some of the cameras have audio capabilities.


The cameras were installed in the DA’s offices, though neither public visitors nor employees were made aware of some of the cameras’ audio capabilities. The Tennessee Attorney General’s office is investigating whether these cameras with audio capabilities violate wiretapping laws, though the DA’s office has countered that “there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for conversation in public areas,” implying all the cameras were strictly in public areas.

Open the Books investigated the purchase of these cameras, obtaining 16 invoices detailing the purchase and installation of these cameras, though Southern Contracting claims they never installed them, despite “install” appearing on multiple invoices.

The invoices are billed to Randall Ladd, a special project manager who received special access to all of the video feeds in his personal office, according to the invoices. Six invoices totaling $4,179 were redacted, hiding what service or equipment was being paid for.

The DA has denied any wrongdoing, claiming in a letter responding to the AG that, “We have never conducted any unauthorized audio or video recording of any area where a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy.”

The DA’s office wasn’t transparent in installing these cameras, continues to be opaque by hiding details of some invoices, and should draw questions about the way this office is using its taxpayer funding.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.
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