By: Eugene Hollander
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Jury Acquits Defendant of Eavesdropping
A Cook County jury acquitted a woman of illegally eavesdropping on two police officers on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. The woman was charged with recording the officers with her Blackberry when she believed that the officers were trying to talk her out of pursuing a sexual harassment claim against a patrol officer. Illinois law provides that is unlawful to record a conversation unless all parties to the conversation agree. The penalty for recording a police officer is much more severe than recording a private citizen. In federal employment discrimination cases, our office occasionally comes across the situation where the employee records his supervisor making discriminatory statements. While the employee may be committing a crime under state law, generally, the tape is admissible in a federal employment discrimination case as federal law does not require both parties to consent to a taped conversation. Thus, while the employee may be prosecuted under state law, he may be able to prevail in his employment case with the use of the evidence.