RealTime IT News

Legal Wrangling in Rogue SysAdmin Case

The fight by Terry Childs to have a court dismiss three of the four felony charges he is facing for allegedly hijacking San Francisco's fiber optic wide-area network last year has been prolonged.

Childs appeared in court Thursday for a motion hearing, but the San Francisco Superior Court has re-scheduled the hearing for February 13, Connie Chan, deputy director at the San Francisco District Attorney's office, told InternetNews.com.

His defense attorney Richard Shikman, who filed the motions, is arguing that the wording of the charges is too vague, that there is insufficient evidence to charge him, and that there was improper search or seizure of evidence, Chan said.

Childs, who made headlines for his exploit and for refusing to hand over the passwords to the network until San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom visited him in jail, is being held on five million dollars' bail.

Shikman did not return calls for comment.

Childs faces four felony charges for alleged computer network tampering and causing losses in excess of $200,000 in connection with the incident.

Earlier this month, Shikman had asked for permission to delay Childs' arraignment.

Yet more charges

Childs is also fighting his charges on another front - through another attorney, John F. Prentice, he has filed a civil claim against San Francisco.

The claim, filed January 7 with the city attorney's office, alleges Childs was wrongfully placed on administrative leave without pay and wrongfully arrested, and that his civil rights were violated. It also states that Richard Robinson, a supervisor, falsely alleged Childs had committed a criminal act of withholding a confidential password.

As a result of all these alleged wrongs, he is claiming that his arrest on July 13th, after city administrators were locked out of San Francisco's wide area network, is also wrongful. Childs is seeking $3 million in estimated damages.

According to documents filed in the case, the city attorney has reviewed the claim and denied it, saying it was without merit. Childs now has six months to take the claim to state court under California law.

His lawyer in this case, Prentice, was unavailable for comment at press time.