Bernalillo County cyberattack causes MDC payroll issues
“You have bills, which are due and due and the financial institutions don’t understand that you can’t afford to pay, you know.”
A Metropolitan Detention Center corrections officer said the cyberattack on Bernalillo County is making an already difficult situation at the jail nearly impossible for some.
“You have a few officers running multiple units and they’re just overworked and of course they’re not getting paid either. That creates a big drag on the situation.”
KOB 4 agreed to conceal the identity of the officer for fear of reprisals. They said their paychecks were blocked at the same amount as they were for their paycheck in mid-December. This means that the dollar amount on their check just before the ransomware attack was the same for the last three paychecks, regardless of how much overtime they worked.
“A lot of officers work a lot of overtime to get that, to earn that money to live on and you know how to live comfortably. Sometimes people just rely on that money.”
Some at MDC are just quitting.
“There were quite a few who got up and left. Three in the last week, I think, just left. They just left. They had had enough.”
The corrections officer says some staff are overpaid, but many are stuck and grossly underpaid. A Bernalillo County spokesperson says it’s not just MDC — their payroll issues are county-wide and in part because they’ve had to switch to using paper instead of their systems electronics.
A spokesperson also provided the following regarding MDC’s payroll:
- Due to the county’s cybersecurity issue, no county employee in the entire system has received overtime pay since December 17, 2021.
- Payroll processes are paper-based instead of electronic, making payroll processes and procedures more difficult at the moment.
- All Bernalillo County employees owing overtime pay may receive overtime pay on the next paycheck on Feb. 4, if not on Feb. 4, it is very likely to occur on the paycheck following the February 18. (This statement is also true for other miscellaneous payroll adjustments as well.)
- The county payroll office is also working feverishly to prepare to send out W2s to all employees by the end of the month.
Those who were overpaid will have to repay the county.
As for that ransomware attack in Bernalillo County, Tuesday night, commissioners approved $2 million in recovery funding. The board also approved an emergency resolution, calling for a few options to ease the staffing shortage at MDC.