For the last several days, the Oak Lawn Leaf has been unable to publish the local news. Many readers have asked what happened to the site. Some suggested that the website was the victim of cyber terrorism. A few thought we went out of business.
We received emails and phone calls claiming that a message appeared with the image of Mayor Sandra Bury. The message was apparently a quote by the Mayor in which she told the Daily Southtown that she wanted to see the Oak Lawn Leaf disappear. The exact quote was “I have no problem with it being shut down…it’s completely outrageous”.
Oak Lawn Leaf readers reacted negatively believing that Bury and her cronies had apparently shut down the Oak Lawn Leaf.
In what appears to be a response to Facebook commenters, Mayor Bury is claiming that former Mayor Dave Heilmann and current Trustee Robert Streit conspired to have the site taken down because Heilmann is seeking a judgeship. The Mayor has a vivid imagination but we know the Trustee or former Mayor don’t have the power to have the website taken down. Neither man has ever owned any part of the Oak Lawn Leaf Co. and neither man has been quoted saying that they have no problem with the website being shut down.
The illogical thought of some elected officials never ceases to amaze us. At times we wonder if politicians who make such statements are as dumb as they sound or do they simply think the rest of the world is gullible.
While the website was down, the investigation continues as to whether our system was attacked and who was responsible for this cyber terrorism if in fact it was a deliberate attempt to silence this site. The good news is that it was not our office server but the company we pay to store the information and keep the site up and running. So, we were able to get our techies working around the clock to identify the problem and get the site content back on the internet.
We want to caution our readers on jumping to conclusions that any politician was behind this problem. While we admit that the Mayor’s quote and the Village administration’s continued attempts to block the Oak Lawn Leaf reporters from emailing the taxpayer owned village email system is circumstantial evidence, we don’t want anyone saying such serious charges without evidence. The fact that a handful of politicians don’t like having their mistakes publicized does not make those same politicians guilty of cyber crimes.
We know that our readers are convinced that the timing of the website’s shut down was very coincidental due to a vicious mailing hitting mailboxes at the same time.
Oak Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak mailed an expensive political flyer outside of his own district attacking the Oak Lawn Leaf. The flyer was paid for by a group of individuals who are licensed or hold no-bid contracts with the village and donated to Olejniczak’s fund.
On the day the Olejniczak flyer hit, the website mysteriously went down. Again, we think that’s very coincidental but our technical people tell us it doesn’t prove anything.
The Oak Lawn Leaf Co., which owns and operates the Oak Lawn Leaf is working with the proper authorities to determine if the site went down due to some error on our contractor’s part or whether the website was the victim of a cyber attack. Our experts have told us that we may never know what was behind the website going down. If and when we have more information to share, we will do so right here on this website.
In any case, We’re Back and we are ready to roll.