A North Carolina county is working on the lengthy process of fixing its computer systems after refusing to pay off a hacker who used ransomware to freeze dozens of local government servers.

Mecklenburg County officials say it will take days to restore the computer system. For that time period, residents in North Carolina's most populous metro area will face delays or disruptions to county services. Deputies were processing jail inmates by hand and building code inspectors switched to paper records after the cyberattack.

County manager Dena Diorio said late Wednesday that the county will not pay the $23,000 demanded by the hacker, who is believed to be foreign. Diorio said it would have taken days to restore the county's computer system even if officials paid off the person controlling the ransomware, so the decision won't significantly lengthen the timeframe.