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Mayor sues private investigator after GPS tracking device found on her car


Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve today filed a lawsuit in Washoe District Court against David McNeely, a private investigator with 5 Alpha Industries. 

Schieve said a GPS tracking device was found by an automobile mechanic on her car.

“Our complaint is based on Defendants’ outrageous invasion of privacy by installing a GPS tracking device on Ms. Schieve’s personal vehicle,” Adam Hosmer-Henner, her attorney, wrote in an emailed statement. “We will aggressively seek to determine who hired the private investigators and will be amending our complaint to assert claims against them as well. 

“Further, we have been informed that the tracking and surveillance was not limited to Ms. Schieve and so potentially affected community members should inspect their vehicles and property for similar devices.” 

McNeely did not return a phone inquiry by the time of publication.

Schieve’s complaint alleges “other prominent community members” also have been similarly surveilled. She is seeking to find out in litigation who may have hired McNeely.

“In a time of heightened political tumult, the recent revelation of Defendants’ actions still managed to shock the conscience. Private investigator David McNeely, at the request of a presently unidentified third party, surreptitiously installed a sophisticated GPS tracking device on the personal vehicle of Schieve, monitoring her every movement,” the complaint alleges. 

“Defendants, acting in concert with third parties, trespassed upon Schieve’s private property to install the tracking device and then received minute-by-minute updates of her location, in a continuous violation of her privacy. By tracking her, Defendants exposed Schieve to an unjustified and unwarranted risk of harassment, stalking, and bodily harm.”

Schieve’s case is filed as a private individual, not in her capacity as mayor.

“Defendants intended to cause harm to Plaintiff and knew or recklessly disregarded the reasonable likelihood that the dissemination of Plaintiff’s location could lead to death, bodily injury, harassment, stalking, financial loss, or a substantial life disruption,” the complaint also states.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.