Newton Police Website

A former city employee in Massachusetts apparently held the e-keys to the castle. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

The former longtime Information Technology Director for the city of Newton, Massachusetts, set up the police department’s website, which he apparently owned and controlled. When he left, he claimed the city owed him for unpaid wages. Coincidentally, I’m sure, when he left, the site shut down and was unavailable to the public.  The police department says it’s investigating, which is good cause they’re the police. The former IT director disputes he did anything illegal. 

But every part of this story is an obvious legal lesson. If you’re hiring an IT director, ensure that all websites and social media are owned by the company and not by the guy who set it up. And if you’re the IT guy, holding the employer’s site for ransom is a good way to get yourself investigated—and it certainly will make it harder to get a new job in IT, not to mention law enforcement.

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