This attitude is, again, not uncommon among high-level IT administrators. Neither is the fact that they tend to eschew what they perceive to be unnecessary questioning and bureaucratic “nonsense.”
“Terry also, obviously, had a terrible relationship with his superiors. I should point out that he's not just a network engineer -- he was the lead network engineer for the entire City. His bosses were all managerial rather than technical, and while the other engineers did not actually report to Terry, they did defer to him in any technical matters. Even the network architect left it to Terry to actually figure out implementation. Terry felt that his direct superior was intrusive, incompetent, and obstructive, and that the managers above him had no real idea of what was going on, and were more interested in office politics than in getting anything done.
"[Childs] complained that they spent more time doing paperwork -- change requests, documentation, etc. -- than actually implementing or fixing anything (a common complaint among engineers, I know). He complained about being overworked (which he was, and which his colleagues are even more now) and that many of his colleagues were incompetent freeloaders (also not entirely without basis).
"You could see him getting red in the face whenever he started talking about his department. And once you were on Terry's bad side (which thankfully I never was), that's where you stayed, and you'd get only the most grudging assistance from him from then on. Whether any of his complaints were valid or not, I can't really say, but I don't think that's as relevant as how Terry felt.”
Keys to the kingdom
If Childs' sole proprietorship of the FiberWAN network was normal operating procedure, how did the tensions between Childs and his managers come to a head? Why was Childs arrested on Sunday? There have been reports that the city’s newly hired head of security may have pushed for Childs to open the FiberWAN doors to other admins. My source doesn’t know for sure, but offers some insight:
“I don't know much about his actions in the last few weeks. It's been a couple of months, at least, since I've even spoken to him, and even then it was probably only in reference to some specific request or ticket. But I can imagine that being the subject of disciplinary action by his supervisors for 'performance' issues would be absolutely infuriating to him. I can imagine that his response would be, 'How can you say my performance is poor when I've been doing what no one else here was willing or able enough to do?'"
If Childs was pressured to give up the keys to the network that he had built and tended for so long, would he go so far as to explicitly prevent anyone else from tinkering with his charge?
“I can imagine that [Childs'] response to a demand to open up authentication to the FiberWAN would be, 'Why? So you can screw it up and bring the City network crashing to a halt?' I can even imagine that, under so much pressure, he'd take steps (deleting or hiding config backups, for instance) to make sure he was the only one in control.”