A long-standing feud among three workers in the Franklin County Clerk of Court’s office has landed a woman in legal hot water for taping her co-workers. Carolee Philpott and two co-workers didn’t get along. After one heated exchange in the fall of 2002, Philpott told her supervisor in an email that she might tape record every conversation she had with co-workers with whom she was arguing. On three separate occasions, co-workers noticed the tape recorder on Philpott’s desk was running when she wasn’t at her desk. She was charged with illegal mechanical eavesdropping. The case went to trial and a jury found Philpott guilty. She appealed, and the Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld her conviction. One judge on the court, though, disagreed with the majority and said they would have overturned Philpott’s conviction and he chided prosecutors for seeking an “extreme solution” to the office conflict.
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