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Suffolk legislators push back on another state of emergency tied to 2022 cyberattack

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone
Richard Drew

A ninth emergency declaration has been issued in Suffolk County tied to a ransomware attack from September. But some county legislators say enough is enough.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced earlier this year the county website was back online. It took months for the county to restore the infected systems after rejecting the hackers’ ransom of $2.5 million.

His office said a continuing state of emergency is needed to overhaul outdated systems in the county clerk’s office, some of which are still offline since the attack.

However, Country Comptroller John M Kennedy Jr. said a detailed analysis has not been presented to justify millions of dollars worth of procurements. He has been critical of Bellone's handling of the cyberattack from the start.

Legislator Anthony Piccirillo chairs the legislative committee responsible for investigating the incident. He sent a resolution to end the emergency to the government Operations Committee on Tuesday.

The Legislature has the authority to terminate emergency orders at any time.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.