Tampa VA removes covert camera
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS - The James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital has removed a covert camera hidden inside a smoke detector that was used to videotape brain damaged Korean War veteran Joseph Carnegie against his family's wishes.
Congress began investigating the Tampa VA's use of covert cameras last week. The VA tells Fox 4 the type of camera used to monitor Carnegie's condition was the only one they've ever used like that.
"There are currently no cameras of this type installed, in use or in stock for use at Tampa VA," said spokesperson Mary Kay Hollingsworth. "The camera which was removed from Mr. Carnegie's room will not be placed back into stock."
The family says the Tampa VA never told them about the camera and they found out after a maintenance worker tipped them off.
The hospital says the camera was removed on July 26 and Carnegie is now receiving round the clock supervision.
When Fox 4 interviewed Chief of Staff Dr. Edward Cutolo he told us at least 40 other patients were being monitored using similar cameras.
The VA clarified to say those cameras are "dome shaped" and clearly visible.
A spokeswoman says Carnegie was the only patient to ever have a covert-style camera monitor him. They say the smoke-detector style camera was used because it was easy to install and "inexpensive."
The hospital says it had nothing to do with Carnegie's family planned lawsuit against the hospital.
The House Veterans Affairs Committee is looking into complaints about cameras, and other concerns about care at the VA that we've been hearing from soldiers.