No power outage in the Terry Childs case?

An insider claims that the power outage that Terry Childs was accused of using to sabotage the San Francisco network was never intended to affect the datacenter

If you've been following the Terry Childs case to any degree, you probably know that one of the key allegations keeping him in prison on $5 million bail is that he had willfully planned to cause the network to fail during a planned power outage at the DTIS One Market Plaza Datacenter on July 19th. According to credible information I've recently received, that power outage was only going to affect the cubes and offices in that building, but not the datacenter itself.

Thus, there never was a plan to power down the network core. Thus, there's no way that Childs could have tried to engineer the failure of the network during this planned power outage, since the network core would not have lost power.

[ Follow the Terry Childs saga with InfoWorld special report: Terry Childs: Admin gone rogue. ]

The evidence supporting this claim comes from someone certainly in a position to know: Ramon Pabros, the DTIS Datacenter Supervisor himself. Pabros has been employed by San Francisco's DTIS for a surprising 41 years. He's been the Datacenter Supervisor since 1984. He's been running datacenters for the City of San Francisco since Ronald Reagan's first term, the introduction of the Macintosh, and the second season of The A-Team. It's probably safe to say that he knows what he's doing.

According to my source, he will testify to the fact that he discussed the power outage with Childs several weeks before the outage, and at least 10 days before Childs' arrest. He will also state that Childs specifically asked for confirmation that the datacenter itself would not be affected, and was reassured that it would not lose power.

With this statement, the City's allegations that Childs planned to cause the failure of the FiberWAN basically collapse.

Now, I'm admittedly a stranger to San Francisco politics, and am certainly not a lawyer, but if the DA was going to make these accusations against Childs, shouldn't they have talked to Pabros? If the OMP Datacenter was not going to lose power on that date, then this charge against Childs is essentially the same as charging someone with planning to burgle a store that doesn't exist.

But then again, this is the same DA's office that placed valid group usernames and passwords into the public record, and an IT department that ran public, unprotected websites containing internal emails, core network details, as well as usernames and passwords.

I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised at all.

UPDATE: It appears that Pabros has just announced he will be retiring, effective next Wednesday. I can't help but wonder if one event has anything to do with the other. I do know that there have been a number of odd layoffs from San Francisco's DTIS in the past two weeks.


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