Ex-councilor guilty of unauthorized computer access no longer works at RCSO

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Chris Rice testifies at May trial at City Hall chambers in Rochester. (City of Rochester video screenshot)

ROCHESTER - The former Rochester city councilor who pleaded guilty earlier this week to unauthorized access to official computer records while working as a Rockingham County Sheriff's Office dispatcher no longer works at the agency, a spokesman said on Thursday.
RCSO Major Chris Bashaw told The Rochester Voice that Chris Rice, 32, of Ten Rod Road, Rochester, "is no longer and employee" there.
Rice, who was removed from office in May following a trial that found him guilty of harassment, making fraudulent statements to city staff and retaliation, was arrested in September on charges he illegally accessed computer systems of police and the DMV while working as a dispatcher.
The charges accused him of trying to learn information about three individuals including one of his accusers at the City Council trial, Rochester City Councilor Ashley Desrochers.
Three charges of misuse of DMV records were not prosecuted.
Rice pleaded guilty in Brentwood Circuit Court on Wednesday to unauthorized access of Desrochers' driver's license record on March 12, as well as unauthorized access to two other individuals' drivers license records on June 19 and Sept. 4.
The three charges are all Class B misdemeanors.
Rice was fined $744 apiece for the three counts of unauthorized access to official computer records. He has until Jan. 25 to pay a total of $2,257, which includes a $25 fee.
The complaints were filed in March, June and September, when an ongoing investigation by State Police led to his arrest.

When Rice was arrested in September the RCSO placed him on unpaid administrative leave.
The City Council on May 12 voted 9-3 to to remove Rice from the council on charges of harassment of Desrochers, making fraudulent statements to city staff and retaliation against Rochester Mayor Paul Callaghan and Desrochers.

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