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VA Employee Pleads Guilty to Filming Coworkers in Bathroom on Hidden Camera

The endoscopic technician faces up to 18 months in prison.

A Veterans Affairs Department employee has pleaded guilty to installing a hidden camera in the restroom of the facility in Florida where he worked, which he used to secretly record images of his colleagues. 

Robert Sampson placed the camera in the restrooms at the VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola 17 times in 2019 and 2020 to film eight of his coworkers, according to the charges he admitted to last week. Sampson pled guilty to video voyeurism and disorderly conduct, confessing to using a camera disguised as a phone charger to record the images. He admitted to placing the camera, collecting video footage and watching it. 

VA employees noticed the camera last year and quickly alerted department police. Sampson attempted to “wrestle the employees for control of the device,” according to Justice Department prosecutors. Sampson’s crimes were initially investigated by VA police who responded to the disturbance and it was later passed on to the department’s inspector general. 

“The victims in this case perform an incredible service to our retired and disabled military community and they should feel safe and have their privacy respected in their work environment,” said acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason Coody.

Sampson, 52, will face a sentencing hearing in August and faces up to 18 months in prison. He worked as a health aid and technician at the Pensacola facility in a GS-7 capacity, according to public records. According to his LinkedIn page, Sampson worked in the endoscopy department since 2008.

Vernon Stewart, a VA spokesman, said the department has initiated "appropriate personnel actions." 

"This type of behavior is inappropriate and the Gulf Coast VA Health Care System will not tolerate it," Stewart said. "The affected parties have been involved with our chaplain services and referred to our Employee Assistance Program for additional support."

This story has been updated with comment from VA