Albany County, N.Y. (News10)-A former middle school teacher who pleaded guilty to secretly recording his colleagues while they used a staff bathroom is now headed to prison. But that’s not the end of legal trouble for Patrick Morgan or the school district.
While he sat in Albany County Court with his head and eyes hung down, Patrick Morgan’s victims spoke of him preying on them during their most vulnerable moments. Lisa Carey’s sister was one of them. “He had been, you know at family functions and dinners. It’s just unbelievable,” said Carey. Morgan did offer a brief apology in court saying, “I stand before the court completely humiliated. Ashamed of my actions and deeply remorseful that I could be the cause of such pain and anxiety.” Minutes later, the once trusted 28-yearlong veteran teacher, now called a wolf in sheep’s clothing, was sentenced 1-3 years for each count of Unlawful Surveillance. The sentences to run consecutively.
The former Sand Creek Middle School teacher had already pleaded guilty to secretly recording more than a dozen colleagues in a co-ed staff bathroom using a camera disguised as a cellphone charger. “You know, honestly and obviously it’s indefensible, and that’s why Patrick entered a play of guilty,” said Morgan’s attorney Michael McDermott.
The camera had been discovered, tucked away inside a wicker stand, by a faculty member. Police identified the victims in February of last year. But this is not the end of Patrick Morgan’s legal troubles. He and his former employer, the South Colonie Central School District are both named in nearly 20 civil lawsuits filed by district employees who were identified by police as being recorded using the staff bathroom.
The complaints allege that Morgan had previously been subject to disciplinary action and that he was known by the district to have previously engaged in inappropriate conduct. The plaintiffs say the administration should have taken action to protect staff members. The complaint also alleges that Morgan disseminated the images for financial gain, but Colonie Police tell News10’s Anya Tucker that there was never any evidence that he shared the images or benefitted financially from them. They say Morgan had one primary target at the school and used the images for his own pleasure. The others who were recorded basically became collateral damage.
The school district’s attorney said they could not comment on pending litigation. Patrick Morgan is also facing charges of Unlawful Surveillance in Herkimer County. In that case, prosecutors alleged that Morgan secretly recorded two close female family members.