Former Seattle City Light manager faces charges for placing secret camera in work restroom

Former Seattle City Light manager faces charges for placing secret camera in work restroom

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

SEATTLE — A former manager at Seattle City Light is facing charges after confessing to putting a GoPro camera in the men’s bathroom at work.

Sixty-five-year-old Brent Schmidt, a former support services manager for Seattle City Light, is facing one count of voyeurism after a fellow employee found the camera hidden inside the toilet paper dispenser in a men’s bathroom stall in February 2017.

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The employee told police he was using the restroom in Seattle City Light's South Service Center, went to grab for the toilet paper and realized it was stuck. He put his hand inside the dispenser and realized there was a hole cut out of the bottom, with a GoPro camera attached with Velcro. The man said the lens and power button were turned on.

He reported the camera to his boss, who brought the camera to his supervisor, who happened to be Schmidt.

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When asked if he knew about why the camera was in the bathroom, the man told police Schmidt’s eyes “bugged out.” When he saw where the camera was found, Schmidt began to turn red and physically shake, according to charging documents.

Police said Schmidt held on to the camera and told the employees he would report it to his director. A few days later, investigators said he admitted to the two employees that he placed the camera in the men’s bathroom stall, but claimed to only use it to film himself. He allegedly said he deleted the footage after viewing it.

Investigators said Schmidt later admitted that he had been using the camera in the bathroom and would remove it when he was done -- and the fact that it was a secret excited him. He allegedly told police that the last time he used the camera he was interrupted by another employee and forgot to remove it from the stall.

Seattle City Light told KIRO 7 that Schmidt started working at Seattle City Light in September 1995. He resigned in May 2017. In a settlement with the City, Schmidt's resignation is regarded as a retirement and he was able to cash in accrued vacation pay.

Through a search warrant, detectives searched the GoPro and found three videos that had been blacked out. His city computer and cellphone were also searched, but nothing was found.

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