Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

County confirms ‘secret’ camera: Employees mount ‘deer cam’ in health dept. room hoping to capture paranormal activity

  • 0

Butte-Silver Bow County is investigating a claim that employees set up a hidden video camera in the health department — possibly to photograph ghosts.

Interim human resources director Penny McElroy told The Montana Standard Wednesday she is questioning health department employees about a camera secretly posted last month in the building at 25 W. Front St.

Though the investigation is ongoing, McElroy said it appears two health department employees claim they were trying to capture “paranormal activity.”

“For now, it appears nothing was done maliciously or trying to capture employees on the camera,” McElroy said.

However, McElroy wants to question more people. She didn’t identify the people being questioned.

She didn’t know if the camera captured employees because she hasn’t viewed the video.

As of Wednesday, no employees have been suspended or fired.

Health department director Dan Powers said Wednesday that he first learned about the camera incident on Friday, Aug. 23. He reported it to human resources the following Monday.

He had no further comment because the matter remains under investigation.

McElroy said the camera and its video have been turned over to police.

A “deer cam’’ or trail camera, often used in the forest to observe wildlife because it’s triggered by movement, was found in a little-used room, McElroy said. She said the room also isn’t a regular office space.

County Attorney Eileen Joyce confirmed a personnel investigation is ongoing at the health department concerning a hidden camera, but her office isn’t involved in the probe.

“We don’t believe there is a criminal offense,” Joyce said.

Under Montana law, Joyce said it’s illegal to secretly record or observe people in places where there is an expectation of privacy. People aren’t allowed to surreptitiously record people in places like a restroom, fitting room or any place where intimate bodily functions or partial nudity may occur.

— Reporter John Grant Emeigh may be reached via email at or phone at 496-5511. Follow him at


* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News