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Ex-IT chief sues Tampa company in voyeur case


Published:   |   Updated: April 1, 2014 at 09:19 PM

TAMPA — The former IT director of MaintenX International, who discovered the company’s CFO was allegedly videotaping female employees in the bathroom and reported him to police in March, now is suing that company, saying management knew about the recording and didn’t do anything about it.

James Stanton was arrested and charged with 123 counts of video voyeurism March 21 after Tampa police raided the Howard Avenue business and seized his computer.

Jeremy Lenkowski, who filed the lawsuit against Stanton and the company last week, said he was asked to service Stanton’s laptop in November 2010 and discovered videos of female co-workers using the bathroom and showering.

He told his superiors about what he found and was told the issue would be handled in a way that would protect both the female victims and the company, according to the lawsuit.

Lenkowski said the company’s president, during a lunch meeting to discuss the videos, urged him not to go to police.

Years passed and nothing was done about Stanton, according to the lawsuit. Lenkowski was forced to continue working with Stanton — his immediate supervisor — and the women in the videos until Lenkowski resigned from MaintenX International in March 2013.

After he left the company, Lenkowski tried to reach out to the women in the videos, according to court documents. MaintenX International responded to Lenkowski, demanding he “cease and desist from such slanderous statements” or face legal action.

According to the lawsuit, the company then called a meeting and told employees the allegations against Stanton were false and the “result of a disgruntled former employee.”

Lenkowski is seeking $15,000 for invasion of privacy, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Jeremy Lenkowski did everything right,” said Thomas Harmon, one of his lawyers from the firm Harmon, Woods, Parker and Abrunzo. “If he did anything wrong, it was trusting the president and the vice president to take care of it, which they said they would.”

After Stanton’s arrest March 21, police said they still were investigating to determine if anyone else would be charged in the case.

Harmon said his firm has filed two other lawsuits on behalf of two of Stanton’s alleged victims, who have remained anonymous. The firm will file a third suit for a third victim in the next day or two, he said.

Stanton was released from jail March 25 on $68,880 bond, or $560 per count. As a condition of his release, he is not allowed to possess video equipment, court records show.

Police said Stanton used a recording device to shoot more than 200 videos. Of the five victims, two were unidentifiable. Of the remaining three victims, two were current employees and one had left the company. Police are trying to determine if there are more victims.

Stanton was seen in some of the videos manipulating the camera after the women left the bathrooms, police said.

Stanton’s lawyer, Dale Sisco, declined to comment about the lawsuit Tuesday, saying it was too early in the litigation process.

A message left with MaintenX International’s human resources director was not returned.

Tampa-based MaintenX International contracts with businesses nationally to provide facility repair and maintenance, according to the business’ website.

ebehrman@tampatrib.com

(813)259-7691

Twitter: @LizBehrmanTBO

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