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Terry Childs, the San Francisco administrator accused of locking the city out of its own network, has seen most of the charges against him dropped.

A judge ruled last week that Childs would face just one charge, with three hacking charges being dropped. Childs has been banged up since July last year.

He remains accused of creating a super-password giving only him access to the city-wide network when he feared he may be sacked. It took a prison visit from mayor Gavin Newsom a week after the lockout to get him to hand over the codes.

He originally faced three charges of computer tampering and one of deliberately blocking city officials from the city's network - that charge remains in place, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Some observers have questioned how he could really have locked out the bureaucrats and how they allowed systems to be created without some second way to gain access. What would have happened if the sysadmin had been hit by a pizza truck, as one commenter put it? ®

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