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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Deputies: Jail nurse hacked Pasco sheriff’s emails to get hiring information


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A nurse arrested Tuesday and later fired by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office for snooping into command staff emails was searching for information on the agency’s hiring of new nurses, according to the sheriff’s office.

Diedre Devonne Fitzgerald, 24, of Spring Hill, was charged with three counts of accessing a computer without permission after she hacked into the email accounts of Sheriff Chris Nocco, Maj. Ed Beckman, the jail’s commander, and Dalia Hernandez-Gibson, director of medical services, an arrest report said.

Fitzgerald knew of the imminent hiring of new nurses at the sheriff’s office and was looking to “get information into the potential hiring of nursing staff,” Pasco Sheriff’s Office public information officer Melanie Snow said.

She was able to gain access to the accounts using a laptop computer at the nurse’s station at the jail, the arrest report said. Fitzgerald was released from the Land O’ Lakes Jail nearly four hours after her arrest. Bond was set at $15,000.

Witnesses told investigators Fitzgerald, an employee of the sheriff’s office for 1 year, 10 months, boasted about and showed them how she broke into the password-protected accounts, deputies said.

During questioning, Fitzgerald admitted to hacking into the accounts and showed investigators how she did it, according to the arrest report.

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