RENO, Nev. (AP) — Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve is suing a private investigator and his company after finding a device attached to his vehicle that was able to track his location in real time.
The lawsuit, first reported by The Nevada Independent on Thursday, alleges the investigator entered her property to install the device without her consent. He says Schieve didn’t know until a mechanic noticed him while working on his vehicle.
The complaint further states that the investigator worked on behalf of an “unidentified third party” whose identity she could not determine.
“Schieve’s tracking and surveillance has caused him, as it would cause any reasonable person, significant fear and distress,” it read.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment sent Friday by The Associated Press to David McNeely, the investigator alleged to have placed the tracking device, and 5 Alpha Industries, the company.
Schieve, who filed a lawsuit in Washoe County Second Court of Justice as a private citizen, was elected last month to her third term as mayor, a position she has held since 2014. She is seeking compensation for invasion of privacy, trespass, civil conspiracy and negligence, as well as attorney’s fees. She is also trying to find out who hired the investigator.
The mayor said in an interview with The Nevada Independent that the mechanic found the tracking device about two weeks before the vote. She took it to nearby Sparks police, and they were able to determine that it had been purchased by McNeely.
“I am announcing it publicly now, and I made no public statement at the time it was discovered, to make it clear that it is one thing, and one thing only: it is not acceptable to stalk people,” Schieve said in a statement to AP.
A spokesperson for the mayor said Schieve went to the Sparks Department rather than the Reno police in order to “steer clear of any conflict of interest issues.”
The complaint also alleges, without providing further evidence, that the company “has installed similar tracking devices on other vehicles of several other prominent members of the community.”
Stern is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms. Follow Stern on Twitter: @gabestern326.