On Thursday, during a hearing before the Maricopa County Superior Court, Arizona Senate attorneys conceded that they had not yet received records from election “audit” contractor Cyber Ninjas, despite a court order affirming the Senate’s obligation to release those records.
The hearing came as part of American Oversight’s public records lawsuit seeking documents from the Arizona Senate’s partisan “audit” of Maricopa County ballots, including those from contractors like Cyber Ninjas, which the Senate hired to conduct the audit. Earlier this week, the state Supreme Court effectively upheld rulings from two lower courts, which determined that records in the physical custody of Cyber Ninjas are public records and must be released.
Additionally, in response to a question from Judge Michael Kemp, the attorney representing the Arizona Senate disclosed that the Senate plans to release its “audit” report next Friday, Sept. 24.
“Multiple courts have now confirmed that these records belong to the public, not to Cyber Ninjas, and they must be released,” said Austin Evers, American Oversight’s executive director. “With the Senate apparently releasing its ‘audit’ report next Friday, it’s more urgent than ever for the public to get the full story about how this process was conducted.”
During the hearing, Judge Michael Kemp ordered the Senate to provide a status report by 5 p.m. (Arizona time) this Friday, updating the court on what documents it has received from Cyber Ninjas; when the Senate expects to have received all documents; and Cyber Ninjas’ timeframe for collecting documents from its sub-vendors.
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