TV journalist won't face prosecution in Fargo for hidden camera school security story

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: January 28, 2014 - 9:25 AM

FARGO, N.D. — Authorities in Fargo have decided not to prosecute a TV journalist for a hidden camera story aimed at revealing holes in security at elementary schools.

Valley News Live reporter Mellaney Moore in December walked around schools in Fargo and West Fargo in North Dakota and in the neighboring Minnesota city of Moorhead, without permission. In all three cities, entering schools without registering with administrators can result in a misdemeanor charge.

Fargo Assistant City Attorney Jason Loos told KFGO radio (http://bit.ly/1dKH1MQ ) that one factor in his decision not to prosecute is that Moore was under the direction of a supervisor. School officials also do not want to press charges, he said.

"Our understanding is the school district worked out a resolution with the news station, and isn't inclined to prosecute," he said. "We typically respect the wishes of victims in these types of cases."

School district attorney Joseph Wetch said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday that "the district chose not to press charges because it wants to move forward and continue educating the community children." He declined further comment.

Valley News Live attorney Lisa Borgen and news director Ike Walker declined comment to KFGO. Walker has said previously that his station was not aware of laws requiring school visitors to register with the main office, but that the station stands by the story. Fargo Superintendent Jeff Schatz earlier said the station's disregard for the rules concerned him but that the story also prompted district officials to discuss school safety.

West Fargo school officials said they also are working on an agreement with the station. The incident is still under investigation in Moorhead.

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