Mayor Martin, treasurer clash over cybersecurity assessment proposal | News | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

A motion to add a cybersecurity assessment proposal to the agenda sparked a heated exchange between Logansport Mayor Chris Martin and Clerk Treasurer Duane Ullom at the Board of Works and Safety meeting Wednesday.

The issue started when Deputy Mayor Jacob Pomasl made a motion to add the assessment proposal to the agenda, to which Ullom asked that the board table the item until next week so he could look it over.

“There’s no need to look it over,” Martin said. “We’ve already looked it over. We have the money; we’re going to approve it.”

Ullom continued to ask that the board table it, as he is a part of the technology department and it should have been included. Martin repeated “call for question.” Ullom said Martin asked for comment and he had the right to comment, to which Martin said Ullom was done and to add it to the agenda.

“You cannot tell me when I’m done,” Ullom said.

In response, Martin spun his chair around to face Ullom. The clerk treasurer said he is an elected official, just like Martin, and he has a right to speak at public forums.

“Who do you think you’re talking to?,” Martin said.

“I don’t really know,” Ullom responded.

Martin said he is the chair of the Board of Works and he called for question. Ullom asked if this was how he treated people as Martin continued to repeat “call for question.”

“[I want it] on the record that I am under protest for approving this,” Ullom said.

“Yes, we are aware,” Martin responded. “We heard it.”

Pomasl stepped in, saying they have tried to get a handle on the IT situation, which Martin finished by saying “years.” Pomasl continued saying they have been asking a lot of questions to Ullom’s office and had not received a response, and they had to deal with it because he was not managing it.

Ullom said it has been managed and there has not been an issue. He asked if their first motion was to add this amendment to the agenda, to which they agreed.

Martin then made a second motion to approve the cybersecurity assessment.

“It’s time to take a realistic assessment of the IT services here in the city, our infrastructure, our assets, our liabilities, strengths, weaknesses,” Pomasl said. “We don’t have that right now; I think it’s important for us going into next year to have that information ready for whoever are in these roles and I think that there’s a better way to do this than what we’re currently doing.”

In response to Pomasl, Ullom said communication would have been nice to say that is what they wanted to do. Ullom said he specifically sent them an email asking for the reason for the assessment, which he said they had not replied to. Pomasl said he asked for basic information, but he got the runaround for multiple months and the IT staff member was communicated not to give the information they were requesting on basic IT infrastructure. Ullom said that was because the IT person answers to him and Ullom had asked for the reason for the request.

“… because we were trying to go through this process,” Pomasl said.

“Then all you had to do was say ‘this is what we’re trying to do,’ and you never communicated that,” Ullom responded.

“All you had to do was answer the questions that were given,” Pomasl said.

“Once again, your transparency has been zero,” Ullom said.

Pomasl said he thinks it makes sense for them to have a handle on the IT infrastructure and if they cannot get answers from their current provider. Ullom replied that if he replied to his emails, they would get the information they need.

“Multiple months, Duane,” Pomasl said. “Multiple months. Let’s go forward on it.”

“No. You’re just making stuff up now, so that’s fine,” Ullom said.

“I’m not. I’m not. I have the records of when the information was asked for,” Pomasl said.

Martin made a motion to approve the assessment, which was passed by Martin, Pomasl and board member BJ Cox.


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