Concern surrounds live broadcast of Lebanon city financial meeting

City of Lebanon
(Photo: WKRN)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s more fallout Monday evening after microphones were left on for three days in the Lebanon city council chambers.

News 2 broke the story last Thursday after private conversations between Lebanon department heads were broadcast across the city on the local cable access channel, Charter Cable channel 198.

Monday, there was additional concern that some private information and possibly financial data discussed might have been released.

City of Lebanon hot mics
According to Lebanon city attorney Andy Wright, the city council room was used to train city employees on the new payroll plan on May 27 for 11 hours.

According to Lebanon city attorney Andy Wright, the city council room was used to train city employees on the new payroll plan on May 27 for 11 hours.

Unbeknownst to anyone in the class, the microphones were hot and all the audio was being transmitted live to anyone watching Charter Cable channel 198.

After interviewing employees in the seminar, Wright told News 2 no one can remember talking aloud about any employee’s financial data, but the attorney also said the city is prepared to protect anyone’s sensitive data if it can be proven said information was compromised.

“On Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., reps from the new accounting system were implementing for new payroll and over time purposes. They were in town training our accounting people they were in here Wednesday for 10 to 11 hours training and, unfortunately, we didn’t know it was being broadcast,” Wright told News 2.

He added, “But it was. Nobody has reported it, but to be safe, because we possibly broadcast public info inadvertently, we are looking into it and making sure our employees are protected.”

Wright said there are approximately 320 city employees whose data might have been discussed.

Wright also told News 2 that no recordings of the financial meeting have surfaced, unlike the private conversations held between department heads the following day, conversations that were recorded by The Lebanon Democrat newspaper.

Meanwhile, the city has put new policies on the IT department as it relates to all future public meetings, demanding one of the two employees be present at any meeting where a live transmission is required.

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