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York City Hall begins soft reopening months after server attack

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Hall in York City, Friday, March 23, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The public can now enter York City Hall to pay bills and access other services without an appointment, three months after a man allegedly broke in and damaged its IT servers.

Philip Given, the mayor's chief of staff, said Friday that the soft reopening includes the treasurer's office, and customer service representatives will be available in the offices of permits, planning and zoning, public works and community and economic development. 

People are able to speak with the representatives from each office through glass barriers. Staffing remains limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“If folks come to city hall, there will be people there to serve them,” Given said. “But our preference remains to use digital forms of communication when possible.”

More:Official: York City IT network will be online Friday, two months after attack

More:Police: York City Hall break-in last of three-location spree

Until now, those looking to enter city hall for public business needed to schedule an appointment. 

A majority of the city phone lines downed by the August attack were expected to be operational Friday, Given said.

On Aug. 5, Kevin Isaiah Waller, a 24-year-old Philadelphia man, allegedly broke in using a fire extinguisher and caused what is now approaching $500,000 in damage to equipment in the information technology department, police say.

Damage at York City Hall.

The damage to  IT servers completely downed city phone lines, hampered access to some services on the city's website and limited access to computer files.

However, the city's backup process was successful, Given has said, and there will be little, if any, lost data. 

City hall's wireless internet, active server files, printers, scanners and accounting platform have all gone back online.

Before allegedly breaking into city hall, police say Waller trespassed in a Manchester home and burglarized another in York City.

The charges against Waller include burglary and criminal trespassing, both second-degree felonies, and criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, in connection with the city hall break-in,  police say.

Waller is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Dec. 4 in front of Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.ct. 14.