Library confidentiality law stymies sharing of CCTV footage

Published 24 April 2007

Dirty old man may get away scot free after the Wisconsin attorney general rules that prosecutors need a warrant

Perverts and the librarians that film them. A Wisconsin man who exhibited a touch too much self love in a public library earlier this year may get away with his crime after the state’s attorney general declared that library confidentiality rules prevented prosecutors from accessing the CCTV recording of the event. “That is state law,” Neenah city attorney James Godlewski, explaining that his client could not turn over the tape without a court order. “The library is merely following what state law says.” Yet because the crime in question is only an ordnance violation, the municipal court judge overseeing the issue may not have the authority to do so. Library Director Stephen Proces was not pleased. “We think that this guy has been here before doing something similar but not as graphic,” Proces said. “This may be someone who is going from library to library doing this.” The good news: the state’s attorey general is recommending that the confidentiality law be amended to permit videotape sharing when illegal activity is witnessed.