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Talent ex-city manager charged with illegal recordings

Talent’s former city manager faces criminal charges alleging he secretly recorded nearly a dozen face-to-face conversations.

Thomas John Corrigan, 62, of Gold Hill, was charged last month with multiple misdemeanor counts of obtaining contents of communications, alleging he used a device to record about 10 conversations without notifying participants between April 19 and Nov. 1, 2017, according to an indictment filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by the Oregon Department of Justice.

Corrigan worked as Talent city manager from January 2012 to January 2018, and is now city manager in Shady Cove.

A spokeswoman with the Department of Justice declined to provide further detail in the case against Corrigan.

Allegations of secret recordings were listed as a key reason why the city of Talent fired Corrigan on Jan. 15, 2018, after about a month and a half of paid administrative leave. A termination letter accused Corrigan of “secret, illegal recording of at least two face-to-face communications with a city public official,” among other charges.

Under Oregon law, it is not legal to record a face-to-face conversation between two or more people unless all parties are informed they’re being recorded.

Peter Carini, Corrigan’s defense lawyer, said he hasn’t received any details from the Department of Justice about the case yet, but he argued that recording devices, namely surveillance cameras, are extremely common in government buildings such as courthouses or city hall.

“No matter where you are, you’re being recorded,” Carini said.

Carini said the idea of public officials complaining about being recorded doesn’t add up to him.

“I find that sort of disturbing that anybody would be protesting about that,” Carini said.

Corrigan was arraigned on the criminal charges March 19. His next court appearance is set for April 22.

Court documents have not named the government official or officials Corrigan allegedly recorded, or the device allegedly used to record the conversations.

The Department of Justice alleges it obtained files of illegal recordings of conversations including two recorded on April 19, 2017, along with six other files with alleged recording dates between June 1 and Nov. 1, court documents show.

Other reasons for Corrigan’s firing included allegations he shouted at at least one employee and misused his Costco executive card for city purchases to garner about $71 in rewards.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Thomas John Corrigan, 62, of Gold Hill, faces criminal charges alleging he used a device to record about 10 conversations without notifying participants between April 19 and Nov. 1, 2017 while he was city manager in Talent, Oregon. Photo courtesy cityoftalent.org