Hidden camera at police HQ raises questions

DARBY, Pa. - September 15, 2010

It was only 10 days ago that Chief Robert Smythe learned the camera had been placed behind Cordelia Fisher, the department's receptionist and secretary.

It had been placed there sometime ago by one of his trusted lieutenants as an in-house monitor for Cordelia's safety and to see if complaints of her being rude to the public were valid.

Now the stories that some department critics have called a spy scandal have flared up in the media, Chief Smythe says he is mad at his lieutenant for not informing him about the camera's placement.

"I told him it was a dumb thing to do... there were no laws broken... and she knew it was there," Chief Smythe said.

Critics of the police chief claim the camera had been placed in Fisher's tiny reception area secretly.

The chief says the camera was never turned on and would not have picked up audio.

Cordelia Fisher says she always knew the camera was there and in fact welcomed it.

"I've been cursed at; I've been threatened, so the camera was basically for my safety, because there are times when I'm only in there," Fisher said,

"Nobody was hurt, nobody was videoed, it's a common area where everybody walks in," Smythe said.

The police chief claims his political enemies including a faction led by an ex-mayor are behind all this and stirring up a controversy to help push their own agenda.

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