Collin County DA recorded an employee without her knowledge — and her attorneys are crying foul
Collin County Dist. Atty. Greg Willis has sought to disprove sexual harassment allegations against him by releasing audio of an exit interview with an employee who apparently didn't know she was being recorded.
And that has raised some eyebrows.
KERA obtained a section of a 2006 Collin County handbook, which says employees are “not allowed to film, record or tape in any format, a conversation or activity taking place on county property or where county business is being performed, unless you inform and obtain the consent of all parties to the conversation or activity.”
On Wednesday, Willis released portions of a May 2021 exit interview with Fallon LaFleur, one of his former subordinates. Willis had called a press conference to dispute allegations of sexual harassment against him that were detailed in a federal lawsuit. LaFleur had worked as a misdemeanor prosecutor.
LaFleur’s attorney, Jeffrey Simon, said she didn’t know Willis was recording the conversation. Simon said the fact Willis recorded LaFleur’s exit interview without her consent or knowledge is suspicious.
“What kind of workplace is one running that a boss feels compelled to secretly record their employees? Did Mr. Willis foresee that one day he and a toxic workplace that our clients alleged to exist would be exposed?” he said.
The handbook also says the rules about recording apply “even if you yourself are taking part in the conversation or activity.” Simon said Willis didn’t reveal to LaFleur at any point in their conversation that he was recording.
“What if in the interview he added to at least one or all of those comments of fawning praise and personal assurance, I've been secretly recording you?” he said.
Willis posted thefull audio and letters he received on a website earlier this week.
KERA reached out to Willis’ first assistant, Bill Wirskye, who is also named in the lawsuit, but he declined to talk. Willis and his team have also not responded to KERA’s questions about the recording via email.
The handbook states that the county reserves the right to record business conversations for training or quality assurance purposes.
Got a tip? Email Caroline Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caroline Love is a Report For Americacorps member for KERA News.
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