The Dallas city council voted on Wednesday to approve the hiring of an outside law firm to look into the large-scale data loss involving city files, Dallas Police Department files, and more.
As shared by CBS DFW, the law firm Kirkland and Ellis will investigate how the IT Department for the city lost millions of pertinent, and in some cases confidential, files late last year. Some of the files included audio and video being reviewed by the Dallas Police in regards to investigations.
The Dallas city council voted to hire the four-person team as thousands of criminal cases are at stake as well as the public’s confidence after city officials kept the data loss quiet for several months from citizens.
“This is important. All of us have to care about this. This is critical to our city,” Council Member Cara Mendelsohn stated.
“We need to regain trust and confidence in our public,” Council Member Paula Blackmon shared.
Independently, the FBI is also looking into the situation to see if it was an accident or if someone intentionally stole the data. The hired law firm Kirkland and Ellis will only be allowed to begin their investigation after the FBI has completed their look into the situation.
There are roughly 17,000 legal cases that the loss impacted. Others outside of the city council see the importance of an independent investigation. Assistant Dallas County Public Defender Brad Lollar is supportive of the investigation as he is representing several individuals charged with murder.
“I think it’s a good thing because I don’t think anybody necessarily trusted what the IT department at the city of Dallas said it would do or has done. We were all distressed to hear about the massive loss of data to begin with,” Lollar shared.