UI investigates alleged eavesdropping incident - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI investigates alleged eavesdropping incident

IOWA CITY (KWWL)- Five employees working in the Urology department of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics were surprised to find this baby monitor hidden in their office Monday morning.

"The employees didn't know it was there," said John Stellmach, president of AFSCME Local 12, the union representing the workers.  "There was no notice to the employees that they were being monitored."

One of the employees snapped pictures of the electronic device.  Stellmach says it was plugged in and turned on when discovered.

"Once they discovered it, management admitted they had placed it there. The direct manager had gone to the human resources person and there was also potentially an administrative assistant involved."

Top University of Iowa medical officials are now saying the hidden baby monitor didn't transmit any of the employee conversations.  They also say no HIPPA violations occurred.

Officials call its placement an extremely unfortunate situation that goes against the school's values.

Officials told employees Wednesday the monitor was promptly removed after its discovery.

An Iowa statute prohibits electronic eavesdropping in certain situations.  Also privacy interests of public workers are protected by the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The investigation is ongoing.


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