Psychologist to sue city over light bulb arrest

May 13, 2009 3:34:42 PM PDT
What a horror story for Dr. Robert Reiner. He's now suing New York City for, he says, nearly destroying his career.

A patient found a camera in a bathroom light bulb, but it was used as a light bulb - and the doctor didn't put it there.

"It never crossed my mind that I was going to be arrested for this," Reiner said.

He said a simple mix-up landing him in the slammer in late March.

"At 5 until 12 I get a call from my secretary saying this guy thinks you're watching him pee. He called 9-11. He called the cops," Reiner explained.

One of Dr. Reiner's patients called police when he found a light bulb with a small hidden surveillance camera in the men's bathroom.

Turns out a contractor doing work at the Upper East Side office accidentally installed the light.

Dr. Reiner took the bulb to work that day to get it fixed.

The Upper East Side psychologist uses the camera to keep an eye on his kids when they're playing outside his Bedford home. The camera had been pointing at his pool.

Reiner doesn't blame police for following procedure, but he says that procedure needs to change.

"There's no reason my life, over what was obviously an error, should have been turned upside down like this. The pain my family has been through, the embarrassment. It didn't have to happen," he said.

Reiner plans to sue the city for five million dollars.

His attorney, Neil Woolstein, said the accusations hurt his client's practice, personal life and reputation.

"I just want restoration of my reputation. It's been slammed," he said.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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