NYCLU sues over alleged GPS tracking of state worker's private car

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced today that it has filed suit in Albany County today against the state Department of Labor for allegedly planting a GPS tracking device on an employee's personal car without a warrant. From the NYCLU press release:

"Your boss can't sit in the backseat of your car and watch you, your wife and your children 24 hours a day, but that's exactly what the Department of Labor did to [Michael] Cunningham," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "The courts have already prohibited police from using GPS devices to track people without a warrant. We're confident they will hold the government agencies to the same standard. The only thing scarier than having a police officer secretly track you is having your boss secretly track you."

The NYCLU alleges that Cunningham's car was tracked 24/7 in June and July 2008 -- including a family vacation in Massachusetts. It says DOL used the GPS data against Cunningham in its attempt to fire him this past August.

You might recognize Cunningham's name from the story this past spring in the Times Union detailing how he had been put on "house arrest" by the DOL for allegedly filing false time sheets. He was recalled to work in the DOL's offices in May -- but then went out on sick leave because he allegedly suffered depression from being assigned to an isolated office. [TU] [TU]

The NYCLU says Cunningham received a notice on termination on August 24. According to the SeeThroughNY database, Cunningham's salary was $114,961 in 2009 -- though he ended up getting paid a little more than half that.

Comments

Great catch! This is a bizarre story that keeps getting weirder. I still remember the detail of him calling into work from home at his EXACT punch-in/punch-out times, or else getting docked pay.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Must-do Albany/Troy activities for new arrivals to the Capital Region?

Lindsay emails: Some long-time friends of mine will be moving to the Capital Region in June, and I was looking for some expert/crowd-sourced advice on... (more)

Morning Blend

Marchione to retire State Senator Kathy Marchione announced on Wednesday that she will not run for re-election. Marchione cited family reasons for stepping away from... (more)

Forever wild: The advocacy of Verplanck Colvin

A few dozen miles south of Tupper Lake is some of the most rugged and remote wilderness in New York State. This is where Seward... (more)

The Postal Bank

Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing legislation to spur the creation of a Postal Bank, which would offer banking services in all of the US Postal Service's... (more)

Katherine Applegate at Skidmore

Newbery Medal-winning author Katherine Applegate will be at Skidmore May 8 for an event organized by Northshire Bookstore. She'll be talking about her new book,... (more)

Recent Comments

I have really enjoyed working with SEFCU Insurance Agency and have saved a great deal of money with them. If you are a SEFCU member, you will likely get an additional discount on top of bundling (auto+property, etc.) and other discounts most insurers offer. ...

The plan to fix a problem in Albany that's been a century in the making -- and the concerns about that fix

...has 10 comments, most recently from BethAM

Forever wild: The advocacy of Verplanck Colvin

...has 2 comments, most recently from Lisa D.

An end for plastic shopping bags in New York?

...has 4 comments, most recently from chrisck

The Postal Bank

...has 1 comment, most recently from Herbert

Approval for another big apartment project, Warehouse District reuse, Pine Hills demos, and more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

...has 9 comments, most recently from Corky