Former IT official Patrick Ricciardi, who was responsible for managing the IT department in City Hall, surrendered to FBI agents on Wednesday morning and will be facing charges of leaking confidential information and intercepting communications that were meant for Mayor Dawn Zimmer, according to a complaint provided to Patch by the U.S. Attorney's office.
Ricciardi, 45, is charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count each of accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communications, and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications. Ricciardi wass scheduled to appear this Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
Ricciardi "intentionally accessed a computer without authorization and exceeded authorized access, and thereby obtained information from a protected computer, namely the servers of the City of Hoboken," the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Ricciardi confessed to law enforcement officials in May that he had set up an "Archive File" from which he forwarded information to others. According to the complaint, he had set up the archive file, "so that it would automatically forward all e-mails sent to the Mayor and two high-ranking Mayor's Office Employees to the Archive File."
The issue first came to light "on or about May 16, 2011, (when) the Mayor's office hired a private company to perform a security audit ... on the computers located within the Mayor's office," according to the complaint. The audit showed that "the Archive File contained copies of e-mails that had been sent to the Mayor's e-mail account and to the e-mail accounts of certain Mayor's Office Employees," according to the complaint.
The law enforcement officials have confirmed that the "archive file" was on Ricciardi's computer, according to the complaint.
The information was sent to at least two different email accounts, according to the complaint. The recepients of the information were not named in the complaint, but it involves one former and one current municipal employee. On May 18, one municipal employee provided the mayor a hard copy of an email received from Ricciardi's personal email address, according to the complaint. The emails in question were a conversation between the mayor and high ranking officials.
FBI officers visited City Hall in May and executed a search warrant, taking computers and servers with them, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, the mayor and other municipal employees were not aware of Ricciardi's actions.
More to follow on this story.