HOUSTON - Investigators say a former Houston airport project manager used a city computer to carry on a sexually explicit conversation with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
It turns out the person on the other end was really an undercover police officer.
Ulf Lueders, 42, faces more than a dozen felonies, including child porn charges, continuous sexual assault of a minor and on-line solicitation.
According to a search warrant obtained by KHOU 11 Investigates, Lueders told police he was a IT manager at Bush, Hobby and Ellington airports, and admitted to chatting with the undercover officer posing as a teen on an iPad “later found to be City of Houston property.”
Court records show Lueders also had a city-owned cell phone he used to communicate on the app “Chat Step.” That’s the same app police say Lueders used to set up a meeting with the “teen” he was chatting with.
According to the search warrant, “The Defendant stated that he uses Chat Step all the time when he is bored. He further stated he is bored most of the time. The Defendant stated that the conversations in Chat Step are sexual and he has chatted with people all over the world.”
Last year, an airport spokesman said all employees were reminded not to use city computers for personal use. That came after KHOU 11 Investigates purchased used airport system computers and discovered employees’ personal information including banking and medical records as well as personal pictures and videos on the machines.
“We’ve reached out to all our employees, we have sent out messages letting them know that you shouldn’t put information on your work computer that's not supposed to be there,” said airport spokesman Bill Begley last April. “Personal information should not be on there unless it's necessary for work.”
Records show a “Houston airport thumb drive” was also seized from Leuders’ home in Spring.
The Houston Airport System released this statement late Wednesday:
“Upon notification of the allegations against the employee in question, the Houston Airport System terminated his employment. We have fully cooperated with authorities in this matter and we are constantly assessing and implementing tools that make our cyber controls stronger.”
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