ROCKLAND — The chair of the Knox County Commissioners voiced concerns Tuesday, April 12, over the county’s cybersecurity measures.

The discussion on ended abruptly, however, when Chair Dorothy Meriwether said she was advised discussions over security should be held in a closed-door session. She did not say who was advising her of that.

The meeting was held via Zoom.

Before the discussion was halted, Meriwether said given the current risks there should be oversight over the two-person information technology department. That oversight could be done by an organization or board, she said.

Information Technology Department Director Mike Dean questioned Meriwether on what more she thinks should be done.

“Do you want us to hire consultants and cybersecurity experts?” he asked.

Dean noted the department is audited every other year by the federal and state governments and the most recent one gave the Knox IT department a 98 score out of 100. County Administrator Andrew Hart said Dean is part of a state county commissioners association group that focuses on cybersecurity.

In other action at the commissioners meeting, Hart informed the commissioners the cleanup of the public safety building on Park Street has been completed and the emergency management agency and sheriff’s office staff have been able to return.

There were two instances last year in which there were sewer backups that resulted in wastes entering the building. There was also a drainage problem where water pools outside and the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is located in the shade next to the wet area. That resulted in high humidity inside the building with the equipment sucking in the moist air. Deputies found mold in lockers and then throughout offices.

The EMA office and sheriff’s office worker were moved out of during the middle of 2021 because of the conditions.

Hart said the county is seeking reimbursement from insurance for the $102,000 expense in cleaning up the building.

The commissioners voted 2-0 (Commission member Sharyn Pohlman absent) to support a resolve backing the people of Ukraine.

Commissioners also recognized Roxanne Simmons who is retiring after 21 years with the district attorney’s office.