Tampa VA can't prove family knew about covert camera
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPE CORAL - Was the Tampa Veterans Hospital caught in a lie?
Fox 4 is continuing to hold the Tampa VA accountable after complaints that a covert camera was installed in a brain damaged veteran's room after the family says it was installed without their permission or knowledge.
The hospital admitted to installing a camera hidden inside a smoke detector in the room of Korean War veteran Joseph Carnegie. The covert camera was installed after Carnegie's family threatened to sue to the VA claiming negligence in his care.
The VA denies that's why the camera was installed, saying it was used to monitor Carnegie's fragile condition.
Carnegie's daughter, Natalie, says the hospital only told her about the camera after she was tipped off by a maintenance worker and only after she confronted staff. The chief of staff for the VA told Fox 4 in an interview that the hospital had proof the family knew about the camera before, during and after installation.
"But the family tells us they were never notified," said Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.
"We have documentation to prove otherwise," said Chief of Staff Dr. Edward Cutolo.
While the hospital provided Fox 4 a document showing the family was told about the camera after it was installed, they couldn't provide us anything showing the family knew about the camera before it was put in the room.
Fox 4 filed a public records request asking for "proof the family knew about and consented to the installation of the camera...BEFORE it was installed."
Despite telling us they have "documentation to prove otherwise," in a letter Fox 4 received Monday, the Tampa VA tells us: "A thorough search was performed...and it has been determined that there is no document that fits the criteria described in your request."
The VA says Carnegie was the only patient to ever have a camera, hidden inside a smoke detector, placed inside their private room.
This is now the center of a Congressional investigation.