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CLEAR LAKE | A former Clear Creek Elementary custodian has been charged with four counts of misdemeanor invasion of privacy for allegedly videotaping co-workers in a school bathroom. 

David Joe Bemis, 46, of Mason City, was booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail Monday evening, where he was being held on a $1,000 cash-only bond. He was not listed among the jail population Tuesday morning. 

Bemis, an elementary school custodian, resigned from his position in January, according to Clear Lake School Board minutes. 

A court date hasn't been set. 

Bemis is accused of placing a video recording device in a staff bathroom at Clear Creek Elementary School, 901 S. 14th St., in May 2013, Clear Lake police said in a news release Monday evening. 

The footage showed four school employees, police said, but they and school officials said there was no evidence any children had been recorded. 

The affected employees have been notified, police said.  


 Previous story: 

CLEAR LAKE | Clear Lake police are investigating an incident from several years ago allegedly involving a camera being placed in a faculty bathroom at Clear Lake Schools.

On Monday, Clear Lake Superintendent Doug Gee said investigation began in January when the district received information about an incident occurring four to five years ago. 

Gee said he could not comment "a lot right now."

Clear Lake Police Chief Pete Roth declined to speak with the Globe Gazette around noon Monday, saying, through another employee, that a news release would be issued in about an hour. 

Roth said in the news release the school district in January "became aware of a possible invasion of privacy that occurred in one of their schools." It's not known how the school became aware of the alleged incident. 

The district contacted the Clear Lake Police Department to investigate.

“The report alleged that a school employee placed a small video recording device in a staff restroom,” Roth said in the release. 

The release did not specify which specific bathroom was allegedly involved. Gee declined to provide that information, but said he was positive no students were recorded. 

“Investigators were able to recover video evidence that showed brief footage of a staff restroom in one school,” Roth said in the release. “The footage was recorded over four years ago and showed only four school employees.”

The employees in the video have been contacted, Roth said in the release, noting there was no evidence that children were recorded. 

“At this time, we believe the recordings were an isolated incident and all involved parties have been identified,” Roth said in the release. “The case remains active and charges are pending.”

Gee said the employee was immediately placed on administrative leave and is no longer employed with the district.

“The person resigned a while ago,” Gee said.

Gee and Roth did not name the former employee.

Gee, who was hired in 2016, was not superintendent when the incident allegedly occurred. 

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Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

 

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