More Police Evidence Found Missing in Dallas

Photo taken by Smiley N. Pool

The City of Dallas has discovered an additional 15 terabytes of missing evidence from the Dallas Police Department and the City Secretary’s office. The discovery was made last Monday during an ongoing audit of massive erroneous data deletion in April.

According to an email sent to City Council members from Elizabeth Reich, the city’s Chief Financial Officer, alongside a team of auditors reviewing the city’s entire data archive and backup process identified the missing terabytes.

Following the Monday discovery, over 22 terabytes of files are now reported missing. City officials were aiming to complete the audits by Sept. 30 and have spoken of the possibilities of additional missing data being uncovered by the audit. It is, however, unclear what types of crimes or the number of cases involved in the missing files.

“The city continues to assess the impact of the compromise on its operations, whether data recovery specialists can recover data from the physical devices on which it had been stored or other systems, and whether any additional systems citywide have been affected,” spokeswoman Janella Newsome said on Monday. “As the city continues this audit, it may find additional files are missing.”

The audit was initiated in July when prosecutors from Dallas County discovered that an information technology employee had improperly moved police evidence from a storage cloud to a local server.

The IT employee’s action led to the permanent loss of about 7.5 terabytes of information in April. Reich wrote in her email to City Council members that the employee has a pattern of error. “Additional information collected during the course of the internal audit demonstrates a pattern of an error on the part of the employee which substantiates and justifies the termination action,” she said.

Dallas police investigated the IT employee for a potential charge of tampering with government records. The police, however, found that his actions were not criminal.

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