A former management information systems specialist for the city of Hoboken has pleaded guilty today to intercepting communications meant for Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and top city officials and passing some of those communications on to other officials, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says.

Patrick Ricciardi entered a guilty plea to an Information charging him with accessing a computer without authorization, interception of wire and electronic communications and disclosure of intercepted wire and electronic communications.

 Court Documents

Ricciardi was a longstanding employee of the city of Hoboken and worked as the chief information technology officer for the mayor’s office. As part of his job duties, he was responsible for keeping the city’s network running and had access to email accounts within the city’s computer system and other aspects of the city’s computer network.

Documents filed in the case and statements made in court reveal, in April 2011, Ricciardi created an archive file on his work computer to intercept and store all emails sent to and from the mayor and certain of the mayor’s employees. Neither the mayor nor any other city employee authorized the storage of the emails or the creation of the file.

Ricciardi admits he used his access to set up the email accounts of the mayor and two of the mayor’s top lieutenants so all of their incoming and sent emails would be sent to the archive folder. He also admits that he read some of the emails in order to spy on the mayor and her assistants, and forwarded them to other current and former city officials

Sentencing Date And Possible Penalties

Ricciardi is scheduled to be sentenced on July 1, 2013. Each of the three counts carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.