In the aftermath of the e-coli outbreak at the Boy Scout Reservation at Goshen, Virginia, here, another summer camp is the subject of a court filing by families. Families of more than 100 children have joined a class-action lawsuit involving the Teamsters Union. Cameras were planted at the camp run by the Fraternal Order of Police in what police believe was part of a fight over who would represent the police officers: the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) or the teamsters. [Disclosure: I have previously represented officers and members of the FOP]. Prosecutors have charged former Metro police lieutenant Calvin Hullett and teamster representative with federal charges of conspiracy, embezzlement and unlawful interstate commerce after accusations of bribery and misusing money.
The break-in was allegedly motivated by a desire to catch minors or counselors drinking and acting inappropriately. Hullett allegedly worked with an inmate on work-release at the camp as well as others including his girlfriend to enter the camp and plant the cameras. At least one other teamster official is accused of diverting funds for the surveillance equipment. For the DOJ press release on the case, click here.
The families are alleging violations of privacy in their class action in a controversy that will now proceed with both criminal and civil actions. The involvement of the other union officer (as well as union funds) makes the civil lawsuit particularly interesting. The union will have to portray the members as rogue actors, but there may be enough to hold the union for discovery and possibly trial. The multiplicity of actors also increases the likelihood of a deal with prosecutors for key witnesses.
In the meantime, the FOP appears to have gotten the upper hand in its effort to represent the officers, click here.