BOSTON (CBS) – Three employees at Wyman-Gordon in Grafton will soon learn if they will face wiretapping charges for setting up a hidden camera with audio inside their workplace.
As the I-Team first reported in November, the hidden camera allegedly captured former Wyman-Gordon employee Mark Ferguson sleeping on the job. The company fired Ferguson last April.
However, prior to his termination, Ferguson had discovered the hidden camera in his work space and taken it home for a closer look.
A clip he provided to the I-Team revealed the HR employees setting up the camera. They could also be heard discussing the camera placement.
Ferguson realized if they recorded audio without his consent, it could be a violation of Massachusetts wiretapping statute. He brought the camera to the Grafton Police Department, which launched an investigation.
On Thursday in Westborough District Court, human resource employees Matthew Domenico, Brian Gaudette and Eric Smith appeared for a clerk magistrate hearing, a proceeding that is closed to media and the public.
After listening to evidence, the clerk magistrate took the case under advisement to review the evidence and research the statute. A decision is expected sometime next week.
Gaudette, Domenico and Smith declined to comment to the I-Team after the hearing.
Their attorney, Louis Aloise, said the recorded audio was an innocent mistake.
“You have to specifically intend to audio record a particular conversation,” Aloise said. “It’s whether or not they knew it and intended to audio record or whether the intention was simple to record video.”
Aloise added the clerk magistrate hearing was the appropriate route for police take after their investigation.
“Some cases are close calls and not as black and white as you’d like,” he told the I-Team. “Police are acting cautiously and prudently by letting a clerk magistrate listen to the facts, research the law, and make a decision.”
Ferguson, who also attended the hearing, did not buy the attorney’s argument.
“They would like you to believe there was no willful intent. Of course there was. Why did you buy the camera in the first place?” he said. “They knew there was audio. They enjoyed it and used it to its fullest intent.”
Ferguson is now fighting to get his job back through the arbitration process. He argues the evidence used to fire him was gathered illegally.
Ferguson also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the hidden camera tampered with union activity because he was planning to run for president.