2 county employees reprimanded over 'ghost camera'

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - Two county employees in Montana have been reprimanded after a motion-activated camera was installed in a little-used room in the health department in the hopes of capturing paranormal activity.

An internal investigation found that no crimes had been committed, The Montana Standard ( http://bit.ly/1csYzzC) reported. Butte-Silver Bow County Chief Executive Matt Vincent said he could see the humorous side of the situation, but questioned the judgment of the employees involved.

"Whenever you're talking about ghosts it's off the wall," he said. "But it's serious in that the public gives trust in us and we need to take that seriously, and setting up cameras in public buildings to catch paranormal activity, I don't think that is gaining the public's trust."

A memo about the investigation from Interim Human Resources Director Penny McElroy said a health department employee thought it would be fun to have the Butte Paranormal Investigative Team see if there was any paranormal activity in the building. Members of the paranormal group said they thought they had permission to set up the camera. It was to be there for just an hour, but they forgot the camera when they left.

McElroy and County Attorney Eileen Joyce said images taken were of three employees who appeared to be doing something work-related. Joyce concluded in August that no crimes had been committed.

Vincent said the employee who arranged to have the camera brought in received a written reprimand, while another employee who knew about it was given a verbal reprimand.

The case came to light when an employee who noticed the camera on Aug. 21 was worried that someone was spying on employees and turned the camera over to police.

___

Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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