Jail recorded attorney-client calls

SAN DIEGO, June 22 (UPI) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department stopped recording inmate phone calls after revelations the system also recorded attorney-client calls, officials said.

An attorney for the department said the recordings were made because of a glitch in the telephone system, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.


Defense attorneys have expressed concern that calls with their clients may have been listened to by prosecutors, who have access to the recording system from their desktop computers.

Jim McMahon, a lawyer with the county's alternate public defender's office, said he found out his calls with a client were recorded when he heard them on a disc provided by prosecutors.

Prosecutors planned to use some of the phone conversations the inmate had with friends and associates during the case, McMahon said.

"So imagine my surprise," he said. "I'm listening to the phone calls and up comes one with my voice, talking one-on-one with my client about trial strategy."

Sanford Toyen, a lawyer and a special assistant to the sheriff, said it was unknown how many attorney-client phone calls were recorded.

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