A judge has dismissed most of the charges against a former San Francisco network administrator accused of hijacking the city's computer network he designed and maintained.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy on Friday tossed three tampering charges against Terry Childs, while preserving a lone charge of denying city authorities access to the network, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Childs, who has been in custody since July 2008, had worked at San Francisco's Department of Telecommunication Information Services for five years. Childs, 44, is being held on $5 million bail.
Childs had formerly been accused of tampering with the city's Fiber Wide Area Network after allegedly being disciplined for poor performance. He was also accused of electronically spying on his supervisors and their attempt to fire him.
Childs is still charged with denying other administrators access to the system, which maintains about 60 percent of the city's law enforcement, payroll, and jail-booking records. Childs reportedly refused to surrender secret codes that would allow access to the system.
However, after a week in the city's jail, Childs agreed to give the access codes to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom during a secret jail house visit. The meeting reportedly was so secret that the police department and district attorney were not informed of the meeting ahead of time.
Childs' attorney has claimed that there was no destructive intent and that Childs was merely protecting the network from incompetent city officials who were trying to force him out of his job.