Investigation is on as Controversial Council Meeting is Hacked

In a case of the weird getting weirder, the only remaining video from ECTV of the controversial City Council meeting on Oct. 26 was hacked from the station’s servers and deleted – prompting a police investigation into the matter.

City officials confirmed this week that DA Marian Ryan’s Office, Everett Police and State Police are investigating the matter to find out who accessed the servers illicitly and deleted the controversial meeting, which featured several councilors squaring off against one another in a heated debate about in-person or online meetings.

ECTV Director Deanna Deveney said the meeting had been deleted that same night from outside, but using credentials from inside City Hall. She said they went to upload the meeting to the website and someone from outside City Hall gained access to the server at 9:48 p.m. They accessed Monday’s meeting and deleted it in its entirety.

“The City is working with a third party data recovery specialist to try to get this video back,” said Deveney. “There is also an active investigation that is occurring with the Everett Police, the State Police and the DA’s Office. We’ve never had this kind of problem before.”

A specialist on Monday was not able to recover the data remotely, and so the servers will likely have to be removed and sent to the specialists. The City is also working with Comcast.

The meeting drew the attention of several media sources throughout Boston due to its confrontational nature and the subject of having in-person meetings or online meetings – particularly when a few councilors indicated that Councilor Gerly Adrien, who chooses to participate online for medical reasons, had tough choices to make about continuing as a councilor and not coming in person. It fell in the context of a larger argument within the Council that has been raging for months. Those media outlets have requested to get a copy of the meeting, but it was soon discovered that it wasn’t available as it had been deleted by some unknown person or entity.

The investigation is ongoing.

Deveney appealed to the public for a copy, saying if anyone had a recorded copy they could share, please contact her. She can be reached at [email protected].

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