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Article updated: 6/5/2012 10:45 PM

Elgin a defendant in wiretapping suit from former cop

Robert Beeter and Tamara Welter, shown here in this city provided photo at a law enforcement conference, are defendants in a federal lawsuit that the city also was added to last week.

Robert Beeter and Tamara Welter, shown here in this city provided photo at a law enforcement conference, are defendants in a federal lawsuit that the city also was added to last week.

 

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The city of Elgin has been added as a defendant in a federal wiretapping lawsuit filed last year by a former Elgin police lieutenant and his business partner.

Greg Welter, who retired from the police force last year, and Debra Seitz, an Elburn real estate agent, originally sued Welter's estranged wife, Tamara, and former Elgin Deputy Chief Robert Beeter, arguing that the two hacked into email accounts.

The city also was named in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees, in court filings last week.

The emails, according to the lawsuit, were used against Greg Welter and Seitz and caused invasion of privacy and damage to their reputations and were a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Sgt. Tamara Welter and Beeter had an affair and were suspended after a city investigation in 2010.

Greg Welter resigned from the force in 2010; Beeter was laid off earlier this year; Tamara Welter remains a sergeant.

The suit argues that Police Chief Jeff Swoboda, City Internal Investigator James Barnes and Elgin Corporation Counsel William Cogley "did not have authorization to use the intercepted emails" to start a misconduct investigation against Greg Welter, according to the suit.

Cogley disputed the suit's claims.

"The city's actions relating to this matter were entirely lawful and we will defend the city's interests accordingly," Cogley said Tuesday, declining further comment.

Greg Welter has said he originally found out his wife was having an affair when she left her city email open on a laptop at the home they once shared.

Charles Mudd, the attorney representing Seitz and Greg Welter, did not return a phone message.

Messages left for Victor Pioli, the defense attorney for Tamara Welter, and James DeAno, defense attorney for Beeter, also were not returned.

Neither Beeter nor Tamara Welter have been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

The wiretapping case is next due before federal Judge Joan Lefkow on June 26. Greg Welter and Seitz have asked for a jury trial.

The divorce case for Greg and Tamara Welter is tentatively set for a bench trial on several dates in late July and late August before Kane County Judge Robert Pilmer, according to court records.

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