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Chicago officials admit reporters taped

Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM

CHICAGO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Chicago officials said they mistakenly recorded two phone conversations with reporters without their knowledge, adding that it is not a widespread practice.

Recording a conversation without the consent of all parties is a felony in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Allegations that the city of Chicago officials were recording conversations with reporters without their knowledge arose during a public forum last week when a court filing in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city claimed a city spokeswoman had recorded Tribune reporters without their consent as they conducted a phone interview with Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in October 2011.

"This failure was due to inadvertence — not some practice or plan to record interviews without consent," Stephen Patton, the city's corporation counsel, wrote Saturday in a letter to the Tribune.

Patton's letter was in response to a letter from the Tribune to the city Friday demanding that such recordings cease.

"What we have told city employees is that our position is that you follow the law," City Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said Friday. "And when this issue was brought to the city's attention, we reminded employees to continue following the law."

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