By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A former St. Francis police investigator will be in court next week on charges he illegally recorded interviews of candidates applying for the same job as him. A.J. Gennaro is accused of recording the interviews of five people applying for a promotion with the department.

Gennaro applied for a sergeant’s position. According to the criminal complaint, the same day he had an interview, so did four other candidates. He’s accused of recording all of the interviews, then using his secure credentials and department-issued computer to access the video feed. An examination of his computer found he exported the videos.

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The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office was called into investigate.

“The base facts of what he did was record the conversations of other people without their knowledge,” Anoka County Sheriff’s Commander Paul Sommer said. “He not only recorded the interviews, he recorded the comments made amongst the interview panel.”

Gennaro is accused of then sharing the videos with the mayor and a city council member, saying “he believed the information contained evidence of misconduct by members of the interview panel.”

“I think there were some comments made that threw that whole city government into some sort of situation,” Sommer said.

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Sommer said someone should have known better.

“You would like to think that somebody in that circle would have known that this type of thing is unethical if they didn’t realize it was illegal.”

Gennaro is charged with violating data practice law by illegally accessing private data.

The police chief said the city council dismissed Gennaro because of his conduct. That happened before charges were filed.

And there was more fallout from the recorded videos.

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Later, the city manager reached a settlement with the city council and resigned.

Jennifer Mayerle