Rogue SF Admin Pushing Back with Claims

Terry Childs, the rogue system administrator who made headlines after locking up San Francisco’s fiber optic wide-area network last year, is fighting back on a new front.

Childs recently filed a claim against the city of San Francisco alleging that he was wrongfully placed on administrative leave on July 9 by a supervisor, Richard Robinson. He also claims he was wrongfully arrested and his civil rights were violated.

The claim states that Robinson, a supervisor, falsely alleged that Childs committed a criminal act of withholding a confidential password.

As a result of all these alleged wrongs against him, 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 faces four felony charges for alleged computer network tampering and causing losses in excess of $200,000, and is being held in custody on $5 million bail.

Officials arrested him last July after he took control of San Francisco’s wide area network and refused to disclose the passwords to supervisors, surrendering them only after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom visited him personally in jail.

Childs’ civil claim against the city, filed January 7, alleges he was wrongfully placed on administrative leave without pay. It seeks $3 million in estimated damages, including $1 million for emotional distress, $500,000 for attorney fees and $500,000 special damages. According to documents filed in the case, the city attorney reviewed Childs’ claim and denied it, saying the claim was without merit.

California state law requires anyone planning to file litigation against any government entity to file a claim first, explained Matt Dorsey, press secretary to City Attorney Dennis Herrera. Childs now has six months to take the claim to state court.

Meanwhile, Childs is fighting on another front to get the criminal charges against him dropped. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said a hearing is scheduled tomorrow on a defense motion to dismiss the criminal charges against Childs.

In a motion to dismiss three of the four charges against Childs, defense attorney Richard Shikman argued that the wording of the charges is too vague, and that they failed to specify the exact nature of the alleged violations. Calls to Childs’ defense attorney, Richard Shikman, were not returned.

The legal wrangling continues. Shikman had earlier this month asked for, and been granted, permission to delay Childs’ arraignment.

Connie Chan, deputy director of communications at the San Francisco district attorney’s office, told by e-mail that Childs is scheduled to be in court tomorrow.

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