Records show detectives activated recorder in the lawyer's office while attempting to execute search warrants.

[Correction: A previous story incorrectly said the Sarasota Police Department asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to charged Van Ness with obstruction. FDLE was asked to investigate the two Sarasota police detectives accused of wiretapping.]

SARASOTA — The transcript of an audio recording made last month at a Sarasota attorney's office does not indicate that the attorney or her client knew their conversation was being recorded — a possible contravention of state law.

Varinia Van Ness has accused Detectives Jessica Sullivan and Sgt. Derek Galbraith of wiretapping a meeting, where detectives attempted to execute a search warrant to obtain a DNA swab and the password of her client's phone.

But Van Ness ended the meeting abruptly, when she noticed Galbraith's digital voice recorder.

Florida's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent law," that makes it a crime to record a "wire, oral or electronic communications" in the state unless all parties consent.

Sullivan and Galbraith arrived at the Van Ness Law Group at 8:51 a.m. on March 19, according to a supplemental report submitted by Sullivan. The Herald-Tribune received the report, as well as a transcript of the audio recording, as part of a public records request.

The recording begins with Galbraith speaking the date, time and location into the recorder, while they were inside the lobby at Van Ness' law firm. The recording captures some casual chatter before Van Ness arrives and invites Galbraith, Sullivan, and her client into a conference room.

About midway through the recording, Sullivan and Van Ness can be heard discussing the reading of the warrants, which Van Ness said was "unheard of."

"I've never heard that before — ever," Van Ness said in the transcript.

"I have two (warrants) though," Sullivan replied.

"That doesn't make it right. You're just doing that so you can get to him," said Van Ness, later questioning why a DNA swab was needed when her client had already given a DNA sample in jail.

Sullivan replied she had a warrant for a new DNA sample signed by a judge.

Galbraith explained that Van Ness could ask questions, but after they executed the search warrant.

At that point Van Ness noticed Galbraith was using a recording device, and she asked him if he is making an illegal recording of their conversation. She demanded that he end the recording and told him that she did not give him permission to record in her office.

Galbraith explained he was documenting the search warrants.

"You have to leave," said Van Ness, repeating that he could not record in her office.

She called 911 and asked a deputy to respond.

"There's two detectives here from the Sarasota Police Department that refuse to leave my office. They're trespassing," said Van Ness, who told the 911 operator the detectives were recording against her will.

Van Ness requested Galbraith and Sullivan's name, which was noted in the transcript.

Galbraith did not end the recording until he left the office. He completed the recording by verbally noting that Van Ness refused to allow them to conduct the search warrants.

Van Ness informed Galbraith that the warrants would not be completed at her office.

Two days later, Van Ness and her client met police detectives and a forensic analyst at the police department's front desk. That conversation was recorded, but detectives notified all parties present the recording was running before reading the warrant.

Van Ness, who believed the warrant was too broad, advised her client not to give police his cell phone password. Van Ness told detectives her client's phone did not have anything incriminating, but that the warrant was unreasonable and she planned to challenge it in court.

Police later sought to charge Van Ness with obstruction, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Detective Daniel Riley signed a probable cause affidavit asking a judge to issue an arrest warrant, but the unnamed judge said "Van Ness' actions were based on her belief that she has an arguable challenge to the warrant, the PCA (probable cause affidavit) should be sent to the State Attorney's Office to see if they intend to file charges, so they can request a Capias (arrest)."

The local State Attorney's Office had a conflict of interest and sent the request to the 20th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, which denied the request because of insufficient evidence.

Van Ness said the attempt to charge her was police retaliation for doing her job as a lawyer.

Van Ness filed a complaint with the Sarasota Police Department, which opened a criminal investigation March 29 and an internal affairs investigation on April 1 into the detectives' actions.

The detectives were not placed on administrative leave, which is common during internal affairs and criminal investigations. They are currently working their normal duties in the criminal investigations division, police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said Monday.

The Sarasota Police Department asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the two detectives, but the state law enforcement agency declined.