Hawkins residents, officials hope for unity, answers after alleged hacking of city computers | State | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

HAWKINS — April Fool’s Day started with a phone call. Around 9:20 a.m., Debbie Rushing, the only candidate who filed to run for Hawkins mayor this year, called Mayor Pro Tem Charles “Chuck” Richoz to tell him that she wanted to be sworn into office that afternoon.

Richoz had served as the town’s interim mayor since the January resignation of former Mayor Susan Hubbard. The City Council voted during a special meeting March 28 to allow Rushing to take office early — after voting March 4 not to allow her to do so.

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A computer in the office of Hawkins Mayor Debbie Rushing is pictured Tuesday. Rushing said the city may have experienced a data breach after the son of a city council member installed programs on the computer on April 1 without authorization. (Jordan Green/Tyler Morning Telegraph Photo)

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Hawkins hacking 6

Shahaub Tafreshinejad, the son of Hawkins Place 4 Alderwoman Eleta Taylor, is shown in front of a computer in the Hawkins mayor’s office in this screenshot from an April 1 video taken by the city’s utilities director, Mike Maberry. Mayor Debbie Rushing said Tafreshinejad installed remote-access and network-mapping programs on a computer in the mayor’s office hours before she became mayor, raising concerns that a data breach may have occurred. (Contributed Photo)

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Hawkins hacking 3

Hawkins City Utilities Clerk Cindy Douthitt talks on the phone Tuesday at Hawkins City Hall. The city’s computer system has been shut down in response to a potential data breach, leaving Douthitt to accept utility payments by check or cash. (Jordan Green/Tyler Morning Telegraph Photo)

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Hawkins hacking 4

A sign indicates no credit or debit cards are accepted as Hawkins City Utilities Clerk Cindy Douthitt accepts a utility payment from Hawkins resident Alan Phillips on Tuesday at City Hall. The city’s computer system has been shut down in response to a potential data breach, leaving Douthitt to accept utility payments by check or cash. (Jordan Green/Tyler Morning Telegraph Photo)

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