Surveillance

Chicago City Hall Illegally Recorded Conversations With Reporters

That would be a felony in Illinois

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After incidents in which phone conversations with Chicago Tribune reporters were recorded without their consent by City Hall officials, a city attorney has insisted that there is no widespread practice of such taping and that steps have been taken to ensure it does not happen again.

Recording a conversation without the consent of all parties is a felony in Illinois.

"This failure was due to inadvertence — not some practice or plan to record interviews without consent," Stephen Patton, the city's corporation counsel, wrote Saturday in a letter to the Tribune, which had sent a letter to the city Friday demanding that such recordings cease.