E. Spencer Walton Jr., with May, Oberfell and Lorber, believes the taped recordings can be released by the city. Walton’s opinion is opposite of what Mayor Pete Buttigieg and other lawyers have said when pressed for the tapes to be released.
Walton told WSBT it’s the city’s absolute right to record all phone calls in and out of the police department. Also, Walton noted police departments are exempt from the federal wiretap act.
He bases his opinion on a similar case in the 7th Circuit Court that indicated there's no right to privacy pertaining to phone calls in and out of a police department.
Walton said everyone in the department should know all conversations are recorded ... regardless of what phone line or department they're from.
“Here it was an inadvertent switch to the other lines, they didn’t know. The department didn’t know initially that they were being recorded. But that doesn’t matter,” Walton said. “The whole point is they have an absolute right to record these conversations for the betterment of the public and for the public interest.
Thursday, the common council demanded a meeting with Buttigieg to discuss Walton’s opinion.
By late Thursday night, the mayor had not yet responded to the council. If Buttigieg does not respond, the common council and their attorney could take the issue to court to try and get the tapes released.