Field pleads guilty to privacy violation

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Solutions Midwest owner Paul Field on Tuesday pleaded guilty in Freeborn County District Court to interference with privacy when he placed a remote video camera in a vent in the women’s restroom at his business earlier this year.

Paul Field

The plea, part of an agreement between his lawyer Dan Donnelly and Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen, asked for Field’s remaining charges to be dismissed. He initially faced three charges, including a felony charge for harassment, a gross misdemeanor charge for harassment and the gross misdemeanor charge for interference with privacy.

The Mower County Attorney’s Office has been handling the case because of a conflict between Field and an employee of the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office.

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In exchange for Field’s guilty plea, the lawyers recommended he be sentenced to one year of probation. He must be law-abiding and have no similar offenses or he will be required to serve 180 days in jail. The agreement also asked for a $1,000 fine.

Field, 62, said he understands that by placing the camera in the women’s bathroom, he violated expectations of privacy.

He agreed that the camera had the ability to transmit live video feed but did not state whether anything had been recorded.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 4 p.m. Nov. 29.

Field’s charges initially came about after a woman employed at Home Solutions reported the camera to police.

Officers conducted a search warrant at the business March 12, at which time they found a camera in the vent in the restroom that transmitted to a television in Field’s office.

At that time, Field told a police detective he had placed the camera in the restroom a month earlier, according to court documents.