American Oversight Asks Court to Hold Arizona Senate in Contempt

Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight today asked a court to hold the Arizona Senate in contempt for failing to comply with court orders to release documents related to the ongoing “audit” of votes cast in Maricopa County.

At issue are audit-related documents held by the Senate’s lead contractor, Cyber Ninjas, which multiple courts, in response to American Oversight’s litigation, have ruled are public records subject to release. Last Friday, despite an order from the Arizona Supreme Court effectively upholding those rulings, Cyber Ninjas informed the Senate that it would delay turning over further records to the Senate until after the completion of the “audit” report and that it would refuse to release certain categories of documents.

“The Senate has taken its disdain for Arizona’s democracy and added to it contempt of court,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “The Senate cannot be allowed to defy the court’s order by hiding behind its own contractor, Cyber Ninjas, thus concealing the inner workings of its sham ‘audit’ from the public. Multiple courts have ruled that these documents are public records. Cyber Ninjas works for the Senate, and the Senate has an obligation to obtain and release its own records without further delay.”

In a motion filed today in the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County, American Oversight asked a judge to hold the Senate in contempt of court for failing to compel Cyber Ninjas and its subcontractors to transfer public records to it, writing that the Senate is “about to release the audit report while depriving Arizonans of their statutory right to see what lies beneath the report.”

The Arizona Senate has announced that it plans to release the final report from its “audit” on Friday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m. Arizona time. On Thursday, American Oversight released an updated report outlining our findings from the documents already released by the Senate — identifying major issues that undermine the credibility of the election review and any of its conclusions.