Two Elgin police supervisors named in wiretap suit
Two Elgin police supervisors — who were suspended in the summer of 2010 for having an affair — recently were named as defendants in a federal wiretapping lawsuit.
Former Elgin Police Lt. Greg Welter and his business associate, Debra Seitz of Elburn, filed a federal lawsuit last summer claiming a John and Jane Doe had hacked into Welter's email that he used for personal use and for a real estate firm in which he and Seitz were two of six partners.
The suit claims this action damaged Welter's reputation as confidential information was used against him and in the process several laws were violated, including the Federal Wiretap Act and Stored Communications Act.
"My client's privacy was violated, egregiously. There is no question people obtained unauthorized access pertaining to Greg Welter's account," said attorney Charles Mudd Jr.
Mudd said that through discovery, subpoenas and other means, attorneys have identified the "Does" as Bob Beeter, currently Elgin deputy chief, and Sgt. Tamara Welter, Greg Welter's estranged wife.
In summer 2010, both Tamara Welter and Beeter were suspended without pay for six weeks for an inappropriate supervisor-subordinate relationship. They were not demoted.
A message left on Beeter's voice mail was not returned; Tamara Welter said she had no comment when reached by phone.
Neither of the two have been accused of criminal wrongdoing, but are now named in the lawsuit instead of the "Does."
Mudd said the pair are being sued as private individuals and not in their official capacity as Elgin police officers, so the city is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
Mudd declined to elaborate beyond what is in the lawsuit, which alleges private business emails between Seitz and Greg Welter were read without their permission. Mudd said officials tracked the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that accessed the accounts of Seitz and Greg Welter.
The two have demanded a jury trial and seek damages, punitive damages and attorney fees. The parties are next due in court in downtown Chicago Jan. 26.
Greg Welter filed for divorce after he accidentally found a suggestive departmental email from Beeter on his wife's computer in November 2009.
Welter approached City Manager Sean Stegall, launching an investigation.
The city released 419 emails showing that, during work hours, Tamara Welter and Beeter discussed taking trips and spending Thanksgiving together, and arranged private encounters.
As for the Welters' divorce case, a four-day bench trial is scheduled to begin May 7 before Judge Robert Pilmer, according to court records.
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