On paper, David Holzbach, 52, would appear to have reached an ideal position in life. The married prosecutor with 24-years experience had a secure $129,000 a year job with the Danbury State’s Attorney’s office. However, this year he was fired after an investigation in bizarre conduct photographing women in office and outside his office, including surreptitious photos in courtrooms using a spy pen.
Holzbach was accused by an unidentified women who said she spotted him using the spy pen from “compromising angles toward females who are in the courtroom.” Holzbach admitted that he used a video camera in his car to record women in his office coming to work — primarily focusing on their legs.
None of the pictures were “up the skirt” shots which are normally the subject of criminal charges. Indeed, it does not appear that he has committed any crime. The problem is that the women were in public without an expectation of privacy that they would not be subject to photographs or recording. Indeed, in and around a courthouse, the expectations are that you are being monitored and photographed. That creates problems under the Connecticut voyeurism statute:
Sec. 53a-189a. Voyeurism: Class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of voyeurism when, with malice or intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of such person or any other person, such person knowingly photographs, films, videotapes or otherwise records the image of another person (1) without the knowledge and consent of such other person, (2) while such other person is not in plain view, and (3) under circumstances where such other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
That presents an interesting employment case if he was engaged in lawful conduct. The difference is the alleged courtroom shots and the creation of a hostile work environment for women. As an officer of the court, he is subject to more strict expectations and conditions regarding his conduct.
Notably, news reports state that he was warned on at least two prior occasions about this conduct. That history could expose the office to lawsuits and questions of why it allowed Holzbach to continue as a prosecutor for so long. His previous boss, Walter Flanagan, said that he reviewed “several complaints” about Holzbach from female staffers at the courthouse concerning Holzbach and at least one former colleague has come forward to say that she complained about him.
It is not clear if Holzbach will challenge his suspension and termination. It does not appear that he resigned, which is often a recommended course to preserve pension and benefits if they are available. What is clear is that he is likely to be under considerable scrutiny from judges and lawyers alike if he starts a private practice that brings him to court. There is also the question of state bar charges, though again the lack of criminal allegations will benefit him in such proceedings.
Source: News Times