LAS VEGAS - A whistleblower who was prosecuted after he exposed shady connections inside the Nevada Taxicab Authority has been found not guilty of illegal wiretapping.
It's a story that was first reported by the I-Team starting six years ago.
Joe Morgan was an officer for the taxicab authority. In 2012, he and two other investigators began a crackdown on long-hauling, where cab drivers intentionally take passengers on longer routes so they could charge a higher fare per ride.
Taxi company executives complained about the enforcement, and the officers were ordered to stop writing citations.
Somehow, the chief of the taxi authority accidentally telephoned Morgan, what some might call a "butt dial". The chief was unaware he had made the call and didn't know he had been recorded for 27 minutes while discussing how the taxi industry can influence state enforcement.
When tapes of the call were leaked, the attorney general filed felony charges against Morgan, accusing him of illegal wiretaps and invasion of privacy.
Today, four years after the charges were filed, jurors declared Morgan not guilty on both counts. Morgan's defense attorney Gabe Grasso told the I-Team, this was a case that should never have been filed.
State prosecutors misapplied the wiretap law, Grasso said, and jurors were able to figure it out right away.
Here is Grasso's full statement:
It's been years of battling the State Attorney General in a case which should have never been filed. The Jury understood the defense argument. We tried to make the AG understand prior to trial that this was neither a case of interception of a wire communication or an intrusion into a private conversation. The charges misapplied the law, which was our argument to the jury. Luckily the Jury we picked was very intelligent and up to the task of discerning the complex structure of Nevada's wiretap and privacy statutes and making the decision that Joseph Morgan was not guilty of these charges.
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