Joe Arpaio's Former IT Boss Charged With Computer Tampering

An extraordinarily old computer.
An extraordinarily old computer.
Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Former MCSO Commander Bob Rampy, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's onetime IT boss, was indicted by a grand jury on 14 felony charges, related to computer tampering.

According to MCSO Lieutenant Brandon Jones, "The indictment alleged Rampy wrongfully released/accessed criminal history records, committed computer tampering on the Sheriff's Office information system and committed felony identity theft."

See also:
-Joe Arpaio Spying on County Lawyers? Would Anyone Be Surprised?
-Arpaio's Men Attempt to Seize E-Mail at Issue in Melendres Case

Rampy's got some background, being Arpaio's former IT guy and all.

Back in March 2010, Rampy marched over to the county's IT department and tried to retrieve two years' worth of MCSO e-mails.

County officials didn't let him have the e-mails, and a judge ordered county staff to "protect, secure, and not destroy" the records, because they were subject to disclosure in a lawsuit you may have heard of -- the racial profiling lawsuit, Melendres v. Arpaio.

Wouldn't you know it, a bunch of racist MCSO e-mails eventually were revealed in the Melendres case.

After the march for e-mails, a couple of lawyers said Rampy was sitting outside the county's IT building, watching employees and lawyers in the least-incognito unmarked cop car ever, which has a bunch of radio/satellite gear on it.

Rampy then wanted $750,000 from the county for the ensuing media reports, which he claimed caused him "reputation damages," and "sustained emotional distress damages and adverse health effects from the stress of the accusations . . ." OK.

Anyway, Rampy's now accused of illegally accessing a law enforcement database, between September 2012, and January 2013. MCSO's Jones tells us Rampy resigned in September 2012, and all of the alleged illegal access came after that.

Here's part of the MCSO's statement on Rampy's arrest:

All of the illegal access and tampering took place after Rampy resigned from the Sheriff's Office and applied to be Director of the county-wide Integrated Criminal Justice Information System, a position he was not selected to fill. The computer hacking and criminal history abuses closely followed his unsuccessful job bid.

The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Criminal Investigations Section made the initial discovery of Rampy's misuse and tampering with the data system. Their quick discovery of Rampy's unauthorized intrusions prevented any interruption or damage to the law enforcement information network.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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