Friday, April 19, 2024
HomeLatest NewsFormer Cyber Ninjas CEO, wife can be held responsible for public records...

Former Cyber Ninjas CEO, wife can be held responsible for public records from Senate audit – The Arizona Republic

A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge on Thursday said The Arizona Republic can name the former CEO of Cyber Ninjas and his wife as directly responsible for public records the news organization has tried to obtain for nearly a year.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann contracted with Cyber Ninjas to conduct a review of the 2020 Maricopa County election, and the company led a team of contractors that sorted through ballots last summer at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Republic requested texts, emails and other communications from the audit under Arizona’s Public Records Law. The company refused, and the news organization sued the Senate and company for the records in June.  

But Cyber Ninjas has refused to turn over what it has described as tens of thousands of documents, even after multiple Superior Court judges and state Appeals Court panels ruled that the records were public. These decisions came from The Republic’s case as well as a similar case filed by the left-leaning watchdog group American Oversight. The cases were consolidated. 

When Cyber Ninjas refused to comply with court orders, a judge in January hit the company with sanctions of $50,000 a day until the records are released. Those sanctions now top $2 million, yet former CEO Doug Logan has given no indication he intends to comply, stating during a contentious deposition he is waiting for clearer orders from the court.

More recently, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected Cyber Ninjas’ request to review the lower courts’ decisions that the records are public and that fines are warranted.

Logan also claimed he was dissolving Cyber Ninjas amid financial troubles, which prompted The Republic in February to ask the court’s permission to name Logan and his wife, Meghan, as defendants.

Early voting: Arizona Senate committee OKs bill to ban mail voting and return to 1950s-era elections

Attorneys: Logans direct Cyber Ninjas

“The obvious explanation for Cyber Ninjas’ continued defiance of Court orders despite this severe financial penalty is that the company is no longer acting in its own interest as an independent company,” Republic attorneys wrote in the request to name the Logans as defendants.

“In light of the company’s insolvency and potential dissolution, the sanctions have been rendered toothless, and Cyber Ninjas may escape having to pay them at all. Not only is Cyber Ninjas behaving as if it is immune from sanctions, but the company also acts at the sole direction of Mr. and Ms. Logan, who have directed and continue to direct Cyber Ninjas’ defiance of this Court’s orders.”

On Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp approved The Republic’s request to amend its complaint.

Republic attorney David Bodney said it should not take so much effort to obtain public records.

“The amended complaint will facilitate the public’s right to inspect the records that Cyber Ninjas has been concealing from public view despite court orders to produce them,” Bodney said. “It should not require a person to go to such extraordinary lengths to inspect the public records.”

Cyber Ninjas lawyer Jack Wilenchik declined to comment on the order Tuesday.

Wilenchik asked to be removed from the cases before they were consolidated because he wasn’t being paid, but two Maricopa County Superior Court judges in January denied his requests.

“I’m trying to work here and make a living,” Wilenchik said at a January hearing.

But both judges said the cases were too important to delay by removing the attorney.

Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at ryan.randazzo@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments