BY STACI WILSON
An activist known for videotaping natural gas activity around Susquehanna County now faces criminal allegations that she video and audio taped people nearly two years ago without their permission.
Vera Scroggins, 64, Brackney, was charged by Susquehanna County detectives with felony counts of intercept communications, disclose intercepted communications, and use intercepted communications in connection with a June 5, 2013 incident in Montrose.
According to the affidavit filed in Montrose District Court, Scroggins made a video and audio recording of both Montrose-based attorney Laurence Kelly and his assistant Heidi Mitchell, at Kelly’s private office on Public Avenue, without their knowledge.
The video showed Scroggins enter Kelly’s office accompanied by Craig Stevens to seek an application to be part of the annual Fourth of July parade in Montrose and engage in conversation with Kelly and Mitchell. Scroggins was taping and narrating as she walked through the office until they approached Mitchell, according to the affidavit.
Scroggins had emailed a Youtube link to the video and audio recording to Susquehanna County District Attorney Jason Legg on June 7, 2013. The video was labeled “Craig Stevens – water quality” with the subject “Larry Kelly refusing us for 4th July Parade 6-5-13.”
In the email to the DA, Scroggins stated that it was a private video on Youtube “so do not share for now.”
According to the affidavit, the video appears to be taken from waist level, tilting upwards at times.
At the conclusion of the conversation, Kelly requested the two to leave his office. It was then, according to investigators, that Scroggins pointed a small, handheld, video recorder at Kelly and advised him for the first time that he was being recorded.
Kelly told investigators that he was unaware, until that moment, that he and Mitchell had been recorded. According to the affidavit, Kelly advised Scroggins that she had recorded them without their permission. He then escorted them from the office.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 1.