Privacy in Hotel Bathroom - Prairie View A _ M University by kala22


									Knoxville News Sentinal                                the plastic cover on the light fixture," Herston
Section: A Section                                     wrote in the lawsuit. "He called the front desk,
Edition: Final                                         apologized and offered to pay for the fixture."
Page: A1
                                                       But while he was waiting for someone to fix the
                                                       damage, Brewer noticed wires and discovered a
Published: September 25, 2002                          small video camera.

Ohio man files $1.5M suit against                      A further look by security personnel confirmed that
                                                       it was an elaborate, self-contained, video
Marriott                                               recording system.

Randy Kenner, News-Sentinel staff writer               "The video camera was connected to the
                                                       bathroom light switch such that the camera would
[Correction: 09/26/2002                                begin recording when the bathroom light was
* Bryan Brewer, who filed a lawsuit against the        turned on and would stop recording when (it) was
Knoxville Marriott, did not qualify for Hawaii's       turned off," the lawsuit states.
Ironman Triathlon. That information was incorrect
in Wednesday's editions.]                              Herston said that the equipment had a film of dust
                                                       on it indicating that it had been there for some
An Ohio man filed a $1.5 million lawsuit Tuesday       time. It also had a piece of tape on it indicating the
against the Knoxville Marriott hotel after finding a   room number, Room 253.
hidden camera in a bathroom light fixture in
July.Bryan Brewer discovered the small video           Herston said that Marriott employees let Brewer
camera after noticing a tiny black spot - which he     view the tape in their presence but refused to give
thought was an insect but turned out to be a hole -    it to him.
in the fixture, according to the lawsuit.
                                                       The tape and video equipment have been turned
At the time Brewer, the vice president of a            over to the Sheriff's Department.
California company, was staying at the Marriott
while on business.                                     The Sheriff's Department also has refused to give
                                                       him the tape, Herston said.
His attorney, K.O. Herston, filed the lawsuit in
Knox County Circuit Court. Named as defendants         He also said he's not sure why the Sheriff's
are Marriott International Inc. and Columbia           Department is investigating the case since the
Sussex Corp., a Fort Mitchell, Ky., corporation that   Knoxville Police Department is next door to the
operated at least 28 Marriotts with more than          Marriott.
8,500 rooms.
                                                       Herston said the detective handling the case told
"The allegations have been turned over to the          him, "'All I know is that I was called to the scene
proper authorities, who we are cooperating with        and I responded to the call.'"
fully," said Doug Allen, the general manager of the
downtown Marriott.                                     Marriott officials said they have inspected other
                                                       rooms at the hotel but have refused to say what, if
Allen declined to comment any further, citing an       anything, was found, Herston said.
ongoing investigation by the Knox County Sheriff's     "There are a lot of questions and we need some
Department. Brewer, contacted Tuesday, declined        answers," Herston said before adding, "How many
comment.                                               other people were taped?"

According to the lawsuit, Brewer, 27, a triathlete     Martha Dooley, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's
good enough to qualify for Hawaii's Ironman            Department, said the reason the tape isn't being
Triathlon, discovered the camera on the morning        turned over is because, "It is an ongoing
of July 11.                                            investigation."

"Thinking it might be an insect, Mr. Brewer swatted    As for the office handling the case, Dooley said,
at the black spot, thereby inadvertently breaking      "We routinely answer calls from businesses and
residences in the city as well as the county."       Knoxville News Sentinel
                                                     Section: Local & State
Someone from the hotel apparently called the         Edition: Final
Sheriff's Department directly.                       Page: B1
KPD spokesman Darrell DeBusk said that KPD did
not receive a call from the hotel.                   Published: October 11, 2002

The lawsuit contends that Brewer has suffered        Marriott still mum on hidden camera
harm as a result of the discovery.
"In Mr. Brewer's case, he has become paranoid,"
Herston indicated. "He hates to travel now and       Randy Kenner, News-Sentinel staff writer
that has caused tension at work since his job
requires so much travel. When he does travel, he     In the two weeks since he filed a lawsuit against
spends a lot of time going over every inch of his    the Knoxville Marriott for a client who discovered a
hotel room to make sure it is safe.                  hidden camera in his room, K.O. Herston has
                                                     fielded dozens of phones calls from across the
"This has really affected his career and well-       country.The Knoxville lawyer has received
being."                                              inquiries from people who stayed at the Marriott,
                                                     from reporters, from lawyers.
In addition to the $1.5 million in damages, Brewer
also seeks the return of all copies of the           But he's not heard from the people he wants to
videotaped recording of him.                         hear from the most.
Brewer has not been back in Knoxville since the      "Not a word," Herston said. "I haven't heard a word
incident.                                            from the Marriott or the Sheriff's Department."
"If he comes back, he certainly won't stay at the    Herston filed a $1.5 million lawsuit on behalf of
Marriott," Herston said.                             Bryan Brewer, an Ohio man who discovered the
                                                     small video camera hidden in a light fixture in his
Randy Kenner may be reached at 865-342-6305          bathroom on the morning of July 11. The camera
or                                  was set to begin recording when the bathroom
                                                     light was turned on.

                                                     The matter has been under investigation since
                                                     then by the Knox County Sheriff's Department, but
                                                     neither it nor the Marriott has had much to say.

                                                     A Marriott official said Thursday the company
                                                     could not comment on the case, and Sheriff Tim
                                                     Hutchison's office did not return calls.

                                                     "It is still an ongoing investigation and we would
                                                     not be able to have any comment on it," said Bill
                                                     Jordan, the Marriott's director of marketing.

                                                     After the lawsuit was filed last month, Martha
                                                     Dooley, a sheriff's spokeswoman, declined to
                                                     comment on the status of the case because it was
                                                     an ongoing investigation.

                                                     But the hotel will have to respond later this month
                                                     when the deadline for answering the lawsuit
                                                       The indictment was returned less than two weeks
Marriott International Inc. and Columbia Sussex, a     after Brewer filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the
Fort Mitchell, Ky., corporation that operates the      Marriott that states he discovered a small video
Marriott here and at least 28 others, are the          camera in the bathroom of his hotel room July 11.
defendants in the case.
                                                       According to the lawsuit, Brewer found the camera
"Everything is just in a waiting mode," Herston        when he noticed on a light fixture a small black
said. "We're waiting to see what their answer will     spot that he thought was an insect but turned out
be."                                                   to be a tiny hole.

Brewer, 27, discovered the camera when he              He swatted at the spot, inadvertently breaking the
noticed a tiny black spot - which he thought was       plastic fixture. Inside, he discovered a self-
an insect but turned out to be a hole - in the         contained video recording system that was wired
fixture.                                               to begin recording when the bathroom light was
                                                       turned on, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit was filed Sept. 24 in Knox County          The discovery of the camera is being investigated
Circuit Court.                                         by the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Randy Kenner may be reached at 865-342-6305            Brewer at the time was in Knoxville on business
or                                    for his former employer, Montech Financial
Knoxville News Sentinal                                Systems Management.
Section: A Section
Edition: Final                                         The Anaheim, Calif.-based firm offers a variety of
Page: A1                                               asset protection services, including "a complete
                                                       financial management solution incorporating a
                                                       wide array of advanced security tools," according
                                                       to its Web site.
Published: October 24, 2002
                                                       Brewer, however, did not work in the technical end
                                                       of the business, according to his attorney, K.O.
Litigant vs. Marriott faces Ohio                       Herston of Knoxville.
                                                       "He doesn't do anything like that," Herston said
                                                       Wednesday. "He has a master's degree in
Randy Kenner, News-Sentinel staff writer               business administration, and he deals with
                                                       financial issues." Herston said Brewer no longer
A man who sued the Knoxville Marriott after he         works for the company.
said he found a hidden video camera in his room
has been indicted on unrelated fraud charges in        The Ohio charges allegedly occurred in April when
Ohio.Bryan L. Brewer, who now resides in Florida,      Brewer and his wife separated and moved.
was indicted by a Geauga County, Ohio, grand
jury earlier this month on charges he tried to         "In the course of (the move), he claimed the
defraud an insurance company out of several            movers damaged the hardwood floor of their
thousand dollars.                                      house," said Todd Boyer, communications director
                                                       for the Ohio Department of Insurance.
Brewer, 27, who resided in Chardon, Ohio, until
recently, denied any wrongdoing Wednesday              Boyer said the insurance company estimated the
evening, saying he was innocent of the charges         damage at a little more than $900.
and would be exonerated.
                                                       "He (Brewer) allegedly altered the estimate,"
"I'm sure, eventually, everything will come out," he   Boyer said.
                                                       The altered document indicated that the estimate
Brewer is scheduled to appear Friday in court in       was more than $9,000, not $900, Boyer said.
                                                       He said the insurance company, suspicious that
the document might have been altered, contacted
the department of insurance. The subsequent
investigation resulted in the two-count indictment.

Randy Kenner may be reached at 865-342-6305

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