KSL INVESTIGATES

Ex-SLC employee leaked other police departments’ info, prosecutor says

Nov 2, 2021, 10:02 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City is seeking an outside review to determine the extent of damage done by a former city IT employee accused of selling information about undercover investigations to a sex-trafficking ring.

“Salt Lake City Corp. is now in a position of having to pay for an outside digital forensic audit of their entire system,” assistant Utah attorney general Kaytlin Beckett said Tuesday in West Jordan’s 3rd District Court. “There’s a significant amount of damage that has been done to the Salt Lake City vice and narcotics unit.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor Erin Mendenhall confirmed the city is working on obtaining a digital audit but that a contract with an outside entity hadn’t yet been signed as of Tuesday.

The city has declined to answer KSL’s questions about how much information was compromised, its  security practices prior to the breach and the specific steps it’s taking to address potential gaps.

The release of the information has “sidelined” multiple Salt Lake City officers, Beckett said, but its impact doesn’t end at the city limits.

Patrick Kevin Driscoll, 50, also shared information about other police departments, according to Beckett. She didn’t go into specifics and a spokesman for the Utah Attorney General’s Office didn’t make her available for an interview.

Driscoll, a network support administrator who had been working with the city since 2019, was fired from the job after his arrest.

He’s charged with trading the information — details prosecutors say helped an accused pimp hide a sex-trafficking operation from authorities — in exchange for money and sex.

“We don’t know the amount of info he has already secreted away from Salt Lake City Corp. via the access he previously had,” Beckett said, and it will take some time for the audit to provide answers.

Driscoll’s defense lawyer said his client didn’t exceed the authorization he was granted in the job.

Prosecutors contend he had actually done so. They say Driscoll altered a police report to remove a victim’s name and accessed a server that had been decommissioned years before he began working for the city.

Third District Judge Kristine Johnson sided with the prosecutor Tuesday, declining to lift a no-bail order for Driscoll.

Johnson said she’s concerned about the safety of several women Driscoll is accused of exploiting.

“Obviously, these are all allegations at this point, and this may change,” she said.

Driscoll did not speak in the hearing held over video conference and appeared from the Salt Lake County Jail in a face mask.

Patrick Driscoll

The Utah Attorney General’s Office also has charged Michael Joe Ricks, 49, with 15 charges, including two counts of aggravated human trafficking, a first-degree felony.

He’s accused of recruiting prostitutes by finding women who had mental health and substance abuse problems and promising to help them get sober. In the end, he kept them hooked on drugs, Beckett said.

Ricks shook his head during the court hearing as Beckett laid out the state’s case.

He remains jailed awaiting trial and has not yet entered pleas.

Michael Ricks

Driscoll’s defense attorney, Gregory Ferbrache, argued unsuccessfully for his client’s release.

Ferbrache said the evidence is too thin to connect his client to seven felony charges he faces, and the allegations fit misdemeanor charges at best.

“Your Honor, this is, this is merely an attempt to incarcerate my client as a form of punishment,” he said.

Driscoll returns to court Nov. 11.

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you. 

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Ex-SLC employee leaked other police departments’ info, prosecutor says