Fired Dallas IT Employee Made Previous Errors


Photo by Ben Torres

A former Dallas IT worker is suspected of deleting city files. According to the city’s chief information officer, the employee might have accidentally deleted large amounts of files on three separate occasions when he was working in the Dallas IT department.  

The suspicion comes after an internal audit of Dallas’ entire data archive since 2018 revealed that the worker deleted 13 terabytes of police files and 2 terabytes of City Secretary office materials. According to Bill Zielinski who oversees Dallas’ information technology department, the review also found that the same worker deleted 7.5 terabytes of police photos, videos, case notes, and other files that have been missing since this spring. 

While authorities do not know what specific files were included in the 15 terabytes of deleted data that was newly uncovered, Zielinski hopes that some, if not all, of the information, can be found somewhere. 

Zielinski said he didn’t know when the 15 terabytes of data were deleted or why no one knew until the city’s recent audit. “At this point, I haven’t received that assessment,” he said. 

An email sent to City officials by Dallas Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Reich stated that the employee involved in the deleted data case was fired on Friday. According to Reich, the city’s audit uncovered more erased files. The number of deleted data “demonstrates a pattern of error” in the employee that informed the decision to fire him. 

According to The Dallas Morning News, the former employee was investigated for tampering with government records by the Dallas police. After a thorough look at the circumstances surrounding the evidence loss, the police decided that his action was not criminal. Zielinski said that the first batch of data got deleted because the former worker “failed to follow established procedure” while moving 35 terabytes of archived police files from online storage to a physical City drive. This caused him to delete 22 terabytes from the city’s network drive, from which 14 terabytes were recovered. 

The identity of the former IT staff hasn’t been revealed. When asked to discuss specifics about him on Tuesday, Zielinski declined. 

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article