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Man Who Exposed Unsafe Playground May Face Felony Charges For Illegal Wire Tap

QUAKETROWN, Pa. (CBS) — A man who exposed potential hazards at a local playground may face felony charges for illegally recording a conversation with a town employee.

Nick Scott, a Quakertown resident, posted a video on YouTube exposing what he thought were dangerous conditions at a local playground. He also posted a phone conversation he had with Quakertown’s Public Works Superintendent Joe Murgia, a conversation that violates state wire tapping law because Murgia said he didn’t know he was being recorded.

In Pennsylvania, both parties of a conversation need to know they are being recorded.

“I was just trying to do good, I wasn’t trying to do anything malicious,” said Scott, who tells Eyewitness News everything he’s done was with his 19-month-old daughter Olivia’s safety in mind.

“She almost got hurt and I tried to fix it, I tried to do what I can to bring the bearer to action and instead they want to maybe throw me in jail. I could be torn away from her (Olivia) and my family for a long time,” said Scott.

Watch the video…

Scott surrendered to Quakertown Police Monday morning on a felony warrant. It was not an easy parting, especially for his little girl.

“I’m very nervous, just wondering what’s going to be the outcome of this,” said Scott’s fiance, Marlin Hawk. “I hope everything is going to be okay.”

Scott’s supporters, who turned up with protest signs, feel that local leaders are retaliating against their friend for speaking out.

“It makes it hard for other people who want to follow suit,” said Ralph Bruch, a Quakertown parent. “We want people to come out into the community and to stand up for what’s right and to try to get things taken care of, but when you live in fear of doing that and you have to worry about retaliation it’s not worth it.”

Neither Borough Manager Scott McElree or Joe Murgia, who is pursuing the criminal charge, would speak with Eyewitness News.

Scott, who has since removed his video from YouTube, was released on his own recognizance.

The Burough has since fixed some of the problems in the playground and scheduled a work day in the park for volunteers to make even more repairs.

  • bishop letov

    what people need to understand is the reasonable thought or reasonable indication of privacy… you can tape public officials on public property because they have np reason to believe privacy in a public place.. copwatch peope…

  • Elizaabeth

    I live in Quakertown, have off and on for about 20 years. I was one of the original volunteers to build the playground. This town is beyond corrupt. From the jacked up rates on electricity to the stupid rebuild of a perfectly good, totally unused, parking lot. They make sure they get their annual raises by raising taxes.

    • Sherrie Smith

      Hi all, Nick did play a recording a we are coming together as a community to show our support! On, sign the Petition to drop charges against Nicholas Scott. Every name makes a difference.
      It DOES NOT MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE!! Youtube made the video viral, so our petition can be too!
      Let’s keep this man, who is keeping our children safe, home with his family!!
      Thank you all! Sherrie Smith

  • Dan

    Scott for Borough Council


    The story is about a felony committed by a do gooder not his half-assed attempt to get a local playground repaired.. An act of public altruism does not insulate the actor from the law. The internet has created the impression in many that online civil disobedience is the answer. It did not help Egypt, it did not help Libya, It did not Syria and it will not help the playground. If this guy had half a brain he would have realized that there are many avenues to get thing done in a community and surreptitiously exposing a lack lust public official through felonious methods is not one of them. And all of the online public outcry’s will not help either. Try attending meetings of the local government and raising your concerns in a well thought out presentation and you are likely to get results. Everyone only thoughts are nothing but vitriol and invective spewing from keyboards.

    • Michael Velders

      Ah…a government official speaking. The only way to get government to act, local or federal, is by exposing them like Nick did. Everyone on this thread is proud of what he did. And instead of supporting the guy and getting behind the cause, you choose to bash him. Are you proud of yourself, Mr. Murgia? Maybe you’re not Joe, but you’re just as bad for your idiotic statement. Did you impress everyone enough now with all your big words. Just goes to show that you can be college educated and have the highest IQ, but have absolutely no clue and be completely disconnected from the people.

    • Ron

      If it were your kids out there possibly getting hurt, you would have a different opinion about it, I’m sure. Nick did what he thought was best for his family.

    • joe

      another moron who supports the supression of free speech thru a police action,so what if he taped it,what was that odfficial afraid of ?

  • Ron

    I am a Quakertown resident. I have lived here my whole life, and it amazes me to think that the officials of my town can not seem to find it in themselves to bow down and agree that they were wrong. I listened to the You Tube conversation and that borough employee was way out of line. The way he was blowing off a very big concern from one his fellow tax paying citizen is hard to believe. The last time I checked, we are the ones that help elect those officials into office. When is the next election? It is pretty sad to see one tax payers concern over the well being of his children and community to wind up getting arrested for it. I would rather have 10 more NIck Scott’s in Quakertown. Thank you Nick for opening Quakertown’s eyes to the officials we hire.

  • RalphBruch
  • state engineer

    Quakertown’s Public Works Superintendent Joe Murgia, do your job or get out, quakertown is no good anyway the power trip from the city is just like camden nj

  • RalphBruch

    Please help my friend fight these corrupt people. Join the facebook page Friends of Panther Playground and join the link for the petition for Nick. We need to tell these people that the laws are for the CITIZENS not corrupt politicians.

  • Larry Bardo

    Tax paying dollars hard at work, Cost to pursue criminal charges $50,000- Cost to fix playground, $5000. Quakertown should make national news about how to effectively rin a borough. Lets work to get the National Media involved NOW,.

  • May Ann

    All Mr. Fund needed was a positive response on the repair. How hard would that have been. Now look what happened. Our children need to be protected. Why wait until someone gets hurt.

  • Justice to the END

    Well, what goes around comes around. I was set up by a boro worker and it has COST me. I am still being retaliated against. Those guys are on a major power trip – give me Scott’s lawyer’s number.

    • RalphBruch

      he doesnt have one yet. no money. Itll end up being some half ass PD though Join my page then click on link and sign “petition for nick”

  • Josh Dipaolo

    McElree and Murgia both need a good beatin! Sad to hear old Mousie got busted in this morning’s Philadelphia LCN bust.

    Scott, keep on fightin’!

  • Barb

    lets have a Scott Fund sounds like they are trying to shift the blame

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