Watch CBS News

FBI Helping Investigate Dallas Data Loss, Police Department Says

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After the city of Dallas acknowledged last month one of its IT employees lost data in April, the city said it wasn't intentional.

But during a meeting last Friday, Sept. 10, of the newly created Ad Hoc Committee On General Investigating & Ethics, Executive Assistant Dallas Police Chief Albert Martinez said the city wanted to take a closer look at what happened.

"Couldn't prove it, couldn't disprove that a deliberate act took place in this data deletion."

The employee was fired August 27, the same day the city revealed more data was lost.

The city has said the same employee had been responsible for previous data losses.

Martinez told the committee, "This new information caused us to come back to it for another investigation to be done."

Martinez said the FBI has agreed to help them investigate this. "This assessment is where they will begin to look at all the information, including the technology person and our network systems and how it works and what was supposed to happen. We will be doing a dual assessment, but they will be the primary lead."

In all, the city lost more than 22 terabytes of data, much of it from DPD.

An assistant Dallas County Public Defender, Brad Lollar, told council members the data loss may impact his clients, including 11 charged with capital murder and another two on murder. "I cannot tell them right now whether we have all the evidence, I can't do that."

The city is preparing to release an internal report September 30.

Lollar said he doesn't trust the information that will be in that report. "That's to us down at the courthouse like the fox guarding the henhouse."

The council committee directed the city attorney's office to start the process of hiring an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation into what happened.

The full council will vote on this at the end of October.

The Committee Chair, Cara Mendelsohn said, "We must take action to provide confidence in the evidence provided in legal realm and restore public trust."

Mike Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association, said other police departments have their own IT departments and don't have to rely on city employees. "In past council briefings, in past years, the department has asked for city funding to have our own IT department within the department so we can house our own mainframes and make that process a little cleaner."

In a memo to council members, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in the next 30 days, DPD will start assessing its long-term data collection and storage needs, and report back to them early next year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.