Oak Hill is in hot water over cameras in the men’s locker room. The state attorney general is investigating the use of the cameras and there will be a hearing in court this week.
David Andreatta of the Democrat and Chronicle reports the club president has acknowledged one of cameras was on around the clock, contrary to what he told members and the media in December. The cameras were allegedly used as a theft deterrent.
What started as a war among members has now become quite messy.
Last fall, a huge packet of documents showed up anonymously in my mailbox. Letters, memos and petitions described internal strife surrounding the club’s renovation and management. One of the letters from an Oak Hill official threatened that the 2013 PGA event could be jeopardized if the mutiny was successful.
As I looked into what was going on, many people both inside and outside of the news business told me this wasn’t a story. “It’s a private club. Controversies are common in country clubs. It’s not our business.” I didn’t press the issue.
But then came the resignation letter of Judge Alex Renzi, who wrote about the video cameras and complained of excessive fees. Soon, the longtime general manager, Eric Rule, resigned, in part because of the camera controversy. There was no question at that point it was a story.
It turns out, the attorney general has been investigating all along.
I thought from the beginning this was a story for one big reason. Oak Hill is not just a country club. It’s an institution that has tremendous importance to our community. It’s one of the places that puts Rochester “on the map.” While it’s interesting to get a glimpse into the lives of Rochester’s rich, there’s a broader public interest in the club’s welfare.
The whole thing is sad for Oak Hill. It shows the truth does have a way of getting out.