Jacky Tranyere, Democrat leader on the Will County Board, hacked into Republican Chair Judy Ogalla’s email. This happened on alteast one occasion on March 6, as she forwarded an email from Stephen Balich about 143rd street, to County Executive Bertino Tarrent. On July 9th Stephen Balich held a press conference with Will Cook County News to explain this cyber crime. Please watch the video below.

I would prefer to be writing about good news, rather the unethical actions of an elected official. While this may also put a target on my back, Will County citizens deserve to know about the people they vote for. Has been 4 months already since this was reported, an unless people are held accountable, this gives a green flag for this type of activity to continue. If an opposing board member would illegally enter and spy on another board member’s email account, what else would they do??? Can this person be trusted to hold office and serve the community in good faith? Jacky Tranyere, she admitted to doing this, so there is some hope for her. Will she come clean and tell us about the other occasions she has done this on?

The hacking was very simple the same password was given out to all Will County Board board members, so someone only needed to log out of their account and log in with another email address at their own computer/IP address. Giving out a common password and making it very difficult to change is an instant recipe for disaster. Most government officials are not very technically adept, as their expertise is government policy, not technology. Your average 8th grader is likely more experienced in tech and cybersecurity than your average county board member. Will County board members are very busy so they will not make the extra effort to change their password, especially when the process is very difficult and requires calling an IT staff to your computer to do so. I believe we can all agree the Will County IT department was grossly negligent in giving out the same password. With the majority of officials not changing their passwords, I would say a review is needed as to whether the IT dept is responsive to service calls, or do they run people in circles making it very hard or impossible to change your password. Yes, Juday Ogalla should have changed her password, along with every other Will County official. I have seen IT departments that just do not care. Often the problem is not with the IT tech person themselves, but a manager with no IT experience who is getting a paycheck for managing something they should not be making decisions on. That often makes the IT tech person’s job difficult. In those conditions, they can try their best, when they are not listened to or respected. The problem might be the IT technical staff, and I realize that obvious perspective. Am sharing my opinion from 35+ years of experience, so that a proper investigation is made and we the people get the truth. The truth has been swept under the rug for 4 months, which only adds to the negligence of Will County’s handling of passwords and giving permission for elected officials to commit illegal acts. Are they trying to run out the statute of limitations?

Tuesday’s news conference was a call for law enforcement to further look into this cybercrime and to question how long Traynere, and possibly others, have been committing this type of illegal activity against Republican County Board Members. Being an IT/Security professional myself, below are some of my questions and hope that an investigation is looking into:

  • did she log in as incognito thinking that her IP address would be hidden?
  • what locations did she log in from?
  • how many times did she log in to other email accounts?
  • how many emails did she forward/print?
  • what other accounts has she done this to?
  • were any will county board members’ email accounts logged into via a safe VPN concealing IP addresses?
  • why have 4 months passed and no action has been taken, is this an attempt to cover this up?
Jacky Tranyere, Will County Board Member (D)

Jacky says that she heard a rumor about passwords being the same and tested that theory and meant nothing nefarious. Why would she test that using the email of the Republican County board chair, and not one of her Democratic colleagues? This also does not hold as to why she forwarded an email to Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant — who already has an untrustworthy reputation for attempting to revoke her signed approval on the halt of the 143rd expansion.