Stepfather vouches for Childs

The computer engineer who was allegedly plotting to bring city services to a grinding halt by wiping out its network was searching for a storage locker and may have been also planning his getaway — to Sparks, Nev., according to court records.

But a letter from the man Terry Childs called “dad” paints a different picture of the 43-year-old from Kansas: that of a man who “has always taken responsibilities for his actions and faced his problems head on.”

In the letter to the San Francisco Superior Court, Michael Winter, Childs’ stepfather from age 3 to age 11, said he would “stake my life on Terry Childs’ word.” Winter had asked the court for a reduction in Childs’ $5 million bail earlier this week, which was refused on Wednesday.

Childs, who is defended by attorney Erin Crane, was arrested on July 12 after his superiors at the Department of Technology accused him of tampering with The City’s central network, called FiberWAN, which he helped create and had sole administrative power over. After a lengthy standoff, Childs turned over the system’s access codes to the one person he said he could trust with them: Mayor Gavin Newsom.

As of Thursday, the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Sheriff’s Office each did not have administrative access to their networks — though Technology Department officials said it remained unclear why.

Though Newsom has said Childs did not ask fora deal when turning over the password, a court document filed by the prosecutor claims his defense counsel had offered the password information for a stipulation allowing Childs to be released from jail.

The day after Childs was suspended from his city position for refusing to cough up the passwords, the Pittsburg resident allegedly travelled to Sparks, Nev. ,and was searching for a storage locker, according to the filing. The prosecutors say Childs kept a meticulous travel log and receipts from the trip.

He was arrested the following day, as he parked his car at his Pittsburg home, the document states.

In the document, the prosecution said that releasing Childs could endanger city services, including payroll, sheriff and police data systems, and all government e-mail. It alleged Childs had rigged the system so he could access it remotely, and had a list of other employee’s passwords and usernames. “It would take weeks” to comb through the 1,100 devices, routers, switches and modems in city offices to ensure that Childs had not locked or reconfigured any of those as well as The City’s main network, the document maintains.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SFMTA cuts wellness program for Muni operators during pandemic

BackFirst provided preventative care for chronic disease plus help with diet, exercise and stress

California’s troubled unemployment agency needs immediate overhaul, report says

By Patrick McGreevy Los Angeles Times California’s antiquated unemployment benefits system requires… Continue reading

In Brown Type: New survey finds engagement and trend to progressivism among Asian American voters

The 2016 election and ‘Trump effect’ have fired up the voting bloc

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, liberal giant of the Supreme Court, dies

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who championed women’s rights — first as a… Continue reading

Four officers found to have committed misconduct escape discipline

Four officers who should have been punished for misconduct escaped discipline because… Continue reading

Most Read