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An Oakland A’s employee planted a hidden camera in the O.co Coliseum weight room to spy on players and personnel, league and union sources told Yahoo Sports, and was suspended while an independent law firm hired by the organization concluded its investigation into the case.
Major League Baseball, including its Department of Investigations, and the Players Association monitored the investigation, both said Friday. The law firm is expected to present its findings to A’s players on Monday.
“This was the misguided action of one employee,” said Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “We hired an independent investigator. While the employee’s intentions were good his judgment was very poor.”
The team’s longtime strength and conditioning coach, Michael Henriques, admitted to installing the camera, sources said, in order to observe players working out and rehabilitating injuries while the team traveled. According to findings in the investigation, sources said, Henriques set up the camera on July 24. The A’s left that night for Texas and a 10-day road trip. A player discovered the camera inside a box the following afternoon and notified Sean Doolittle, the team’s union representative, who took the camera to team management.
Henriques was ordered by management to return to Oakland. Before he did, sources said, he apologized to players for his actions.
Beane and team president Michael Crowley are among those who used the weight room during the approximately 21 hours the camera was operational, sources said.
Beane notified MLB that a camera had been discovered, said sources, who described Beane as “furious” at the invasion of privacy. Doolittle immediately contacted the players’ union. Beane suggested to MLB an independent law firm would be hired to determine the source of the camera and how the club would proceed legally. The investigation included numerous interviews of players and team personnel. Henriques, a source said, would be allowed to continue as the team’s strength and condition coach in a probationary capacity, as his actions were not deemed to be malicious.
MLB and the players’ union officials said that cameras – security or otherwise, hidden or in plain view – in areas frequented by players are not permissible. In recent years, an organization that suspected items were being stolen from its clubhouse requested permission to install cameras. The request was denied, citing privacy issues. The placement of cameras or similar devices in those areas would have to be collectively bargained.