Call Accounting Featured Article

Unauthorized Recordings Create Drama in the OC

August 28, 2018

It sounds like a plot from a soap opera, a storyline in a reality TV series, or a headline from a recent news report.

People were having a private conversation. The conversation was recorded without their knowledge.

No one was supposed to be listening. But word got out.

That could have some serious repercussions. But exactly what those might be remains to be seen.

No we’re not referring to Omarosa. If you think this is about Michael Cohen, wrong again. What we’re talking about here is a case in which telephone company GTL apparently recorded calls between inmates and their attorneys.

Reports indicate the service provider improperly recorded 1,079 attorney-client calls from the Orange (News - Alert) County jail. (It twice made the same mistake in Florida.)

According to the report link above, GTL records indicate that OC deputies listened to or downloaded attorney client recordings 77 times, and that one deputy accessed the recordings 33 times. And this August report by The Orange County Register indicates that 58 of the OC recordings were accessed by the Sheriff Department or phone company investigators 87 times.

Some of those calls were related to the attempted murder case against Joshua Waring, son of Lauri Peterson. Lauri was a cast member of “Real Housewives of Orange County”. (The U.K.’s Daily Mail last month reported that Waring’s “first trial was ruled a mistrial after law enforcement inappropriately monitored and recorded his phone calls in jail while he was representing himself.”)

The Orange County Register on Aug. 24 quoted defense attorney Joel Garson saying “I’m not convinced the sheriff didn’t know about this years ago. Even if it was inadvertent, what about all those police who were listening and realized they shouldn’t be? At some point people knew it was going on and did nothing to stop it.” Sheriff Sandra Hutchens was quoted saying “The Sheriff’s Department is looking to review the terms of our agreement with GTL (News - Alert), considering action for breach of contract, and taking into serious consideration our options for providing inmate telephone services.”

Edited by Maurice Nagle