Coach cleared in locker room videotaping

Kevin Flanigan

Beaumont Independent School District high school coach Kevin Flanigan was cleared of allegations of “improper visual recording” by a grand jury on Wednesday, Dec. 21, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

First assistant district attorney Pat Knauth said the Jefferson County Grand Jury voted not to indict West Brook High School football coach Kevin Wayne Flanigan for the alleged crime after the facts of the case were laid out for review.

Information from the DA’s office confirms that, “this case arose when Flanigan became aware of several thefts from his student-athletes’ lockers, and set up a camera to catch the thief.”

Over a one-month period prior to the videotaping, Knauth reports, approximately $1,000 in money and goods had been stolen from the student athletes. Knauth said the facts surrounding the locker room thefts were evidence presented in the case file received from the Beaumont Independent School District Police Department against Flanigan, but no case has been filed against anyone related to the actual locker room thefts. BISD PD Chief Rob Flores previously said the theft investigation is still on-going.

“On each occasion, the thefts were occurring during mid-day when no one was in the locker room, and during a time when no one should have been in the locker room,” the district attorney’s office reported after the grand jury decision. “The evidence revealed that Coach Flanigan set up a surveillance camera for the sole purpose of catching the person who had been stealing money from the student-athletes’ lockers. The camera was set up during the time that the team was on the practice field. The locker room was vacant when the camera was set up, and the camera was removed before any students returned. The camera only captured the thief, who entered the locker room and pilfered through the lockers. No one is seen on the video except for the thief.”

District Attorney Bob Wortham and his office also report that Flanigan immediately took the video footage to the school’s principal and assistant principal to notify them of the theft.

“The thief was readily identified,” according to the district attorney’s office. “The evidence established that Coach Flanigan had no intent to invade any student’s privacy and had no intent of wrongdoing. To the contrary, the evidence shows that Coach Flanigan was working to protect his student-athletes. Therefore, the District Attorney’s Office agrees with the Grand Jury that no criminal offense was committed by Coach Flanigan.”

Knauth said that, although there was evidence that Flanigan did set up the video surveillance in the locker room, the coach was not committing a crime because there was no intent to invade the privacy of another person.

“His intent wasn’t to commit to a crime,” Knauth said. “His intent was to protect his kids.”