Five weeks after Hudson County Jail Deputy Director Kirk Eady was convicted of wiretapping charges by a federal grand jury, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares denied a motion for acquittal, meaning that Eady will not be granted a new trial.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In Linares’ seven-page ruling from April 15, Eady, through Jersey City attorney Peter Willis, argued that he was “a party” to phone calls between Hudson County corrections officers he recorded via the Prank Dial website’s now defunct Evil Operator function.
Furthermore, Willis stated that the government’s definition of what a party to a call is, which was explained to the jury, is “incorrect,” and if the jury had received proper instructions they “would have acquitted Mr. Eady.”
Although the corrections officers did not know Eady was recording and listening in on their calls, Willis countered that since Eady could have engaged in the conversations if he choose to do so, he was a party to the calls.
Linares explained that the government’s definition of party is “[a]n individual who participates with at least one other individual in a communication whose participation in that communication is known to the other participant(s) in the communication at the same time of the communication.”
Additionally, the judge ruled that “there is no ‘grievous ambiguity or uncertainty’ in the wiretap statute.”
Willis did not immediately return to a phone call to his office on Monday, but this story will be updated in the event comment is given.
A copy of the ruling can be read here.