Article Courtesy of The Tallahassee Democrat
By Jeffrey Schweers
Published January 17, 2018
The discovery that spycams were planted in bushes and
behind closed doors to peep on unsuspecting state lawmakers staying at the
Tennyson during last year’s legislative session is disconcerting to the
luxury condominium residents and owners.
Not only was the sixth floor sleuthing an invasion of
privacy that made the Tennyson synonymous with sex scandals,
some said it caused a potential security risk for residents.
“I was disappointed to learn that cameras were monitoring
residents and tenants on the floor my unit is on,” said
Paula Dockery, a former state legislator from Lakeland who
bought her unit in 2006 during pre-construction.
“Security cameras serve a legitimate purpose — safety,”
Dockery said. “Monitoring peoples' comings and goings for
purely political purposes is just an incredible violation of
About 45 percent of the 15-story high rise occupants are
full-time residents, condo staff said. It's also home to
dozens of lawmakers, lobbyists and other public officials
during the legislative session.
The sixth floor of the Tennyson became the focus of unwanted
attention in October after various news outlets reported
that Minority Leader Oscar Braynon had accidentally
discovered a not-so-hidden surveillance camera under a hall
table during the 2017 session.
The Tennyson condo building near the intersection of
Monroe and Call Streets downtown.
He gave the camera, battery pack and light to condominium staff, which
turned the equipment over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,
which launched an investigation.
Braynon thought the cameras were planted there by private
investigators working for former Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, who vowed
revenge following his resignation from the Senate after making racist
comments to fellow lawmakers at the Governor’s Club, reports said.
He told other lawmakers and lobbyists on the floor about the state criminal
The FDLE found a camera in a common area hallway and traced it to private
investigator Derek Uman of Clear Capture Investigations in Gainesville. The
company specializes in insurance fraud, marital infidelity surveillance and
political and corporate surveillance.
Uman had rented an apartment on the 14th floor for a week and set up
surveillance cameras on the sixth floor. He refused to tell the FDLE who his
The FDLE found no evidence of wrongdoing, concluding that Uman was acting
within the law as a private investigator. The agency also found no
connection to Artiles.
On Tuesday, an anonymous website called "floresbraynonaffair.com" went live
showing video that had been shot through what appears to be an apartment
door peephole of a woman purported to be Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami,
coming out of her apartment and into Braynon’s the evening of April 21,
during the 2017 legislative session.
A second video showed what appeared to be the same woman leaving Braynon’s
apartment the next morning.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the person who posted the video said they’d
received a fob from a resident to enter the building and the apartment. It’s
unknown who ran camera or website, which has since been taken down.
The two lawmakers have since apologized for their conduct.
Penthouse resident Cynthia Tunnicliff, a lawyer and member of the
Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority board of directors, said she
didn’t care about people having affairs.
She did care that the owner had violated the covenants by renting out the
unit on a weekly basis.
More upsetting than the privacy violation is the fact that another resident
gave a stranger a fob to let them in and out of the building.
“It’s disconcerting that we have people giving away keys and fobs to people
who are wandering around the building where I live,” Tunnicliff said. “One
of the reasons I bought here was for security.”