Data-center worker sabotages Calif. power grid

An unhappy computer technician admits trying to shut down part of California's power grid in an attempt to get back at his boss.

A computer technician at a data center that administers the electrical power supply to part of California's vast power grid pleaded guilty on Friday to trying to shut down the grid. The technician, Lonnie Charles Denison, 33, was working at the data center in Folsom, Calif., in April when he broke a protective glass cover to a power-switch box and pressed a power-off switch, leaving the power grid vulnerable to shortages for two hours, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Repairs cost the state $14,000. Denison had been working as a contract employee.

Denison pleaded guilty in court to hitting the "emergency power-off" switch, and said that he was unhappy with his employer at the time. Denison had originally been charged with sending an e-mailed bomb threat the day after the incident that read: "Hey, at one point I respected have a new kid. So this is only because of him. Get out before the timer expires. Not long now. Take care." No blackout occurred as a result of the incident, but 20 computer specialists were required to repair the damage, according to the newspaper. Denison is due to be sentenced on February 29.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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