June 23, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Cyber Ninjas CEO participates in contentious deposition, says he’s not ready to turn over audit records

Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan says he will not turn over records from the review of Maricopa County’s 2020 election until he has a “clear” ruling he can appeal to the highest court.

Logan answered questions during a contentious deposition with attorneys for The Arizona Republic and American Oversight. The news organization and the left-leaning nonprofit have battled in court for months for the release of texts, emails and other documents related to the ballot recount and related investigations of the 2020 election ordered by Republicans in the Arizona Senate.

“He started off very complacent and happy to answer questions, but as it went on he became more combative,” said Craig Hoffman, The Republic’s attorney, who questioned Logan during the more than four-hour deposition. “He was clearly frustrated by the end of it.”

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah on Jan. 6 found Cyber Ninjas in contempt of an order to turn over the records and imposed a $50,000 a day fine against the company for not producing the records.

Since then, The Republic’s lawsuit was consolidated with American Oversight’s, which is why the lawyers for both parties got to question Logan on Thursday.

Logan said Hannah’s November order to the company to turn over records was the result of a “biased judge,” according to Hoffman.

Logan went on “long soliloquies” during the deposition on how he did not believe his company was obligated to turn over records because they should not be public, Hoffman said.

Some of Logan’s comments during the deposition echoed those of his lawyer, Jack Wilenchik, from the combative Jan. 6 court hearing, where Wilenchik disputed that Hannah had given a clear order to turn over the documents in the company’s possession.

During that hearing, Wilenchik frequently asserted that Hannah had not issued a clear order, to which Hannah responded that the lawyer was “trolling” him and at risk of being held in direct contempt.

Wilenchik continues to represent Logan in the matter, even though Wilenchik tried unsuccessfully to be removed from the case, telling the court Logan hasn’t been paying him.

Logan assured the attorneys during the deposition that the documents were secure, according to Hoffman.

Logan testified that he did the lion’s share of work on the audit himself, with limited help from one Cyber Ninjas employee and one or two contract employees. Now, the company has shut its doors, Logan is liquidating assets and he is unclear why the Arizona Senate hasn’t paid Cyber Ninjas the remaining $100,000 owed under his contract, Hoffman said.

Logan said he has never received a direct explanation on that but has seen some suggested explanations “in the media.”

Logan’s lawyer has said he is the “former” CEO of Cyber Ninjas, but a document his lawyers sent the Senate this week still describes him as president of the board of the company.

Logan testified that money coming in from the sale of Cyber Ninjas’ assets has been used to pay its subcontractors, not set aside for paying for a review of its audit-related documents.

Cyber Ninjas’ emails and Microsoft Teams messages are backed up on a server, and Logan said he is committed to pay to maintain that server even as Cyber Ninjas winds down, Hoffman said.

Logan has used one phone since the audit began and it is regularly backed up, and Logan said he deletes no text messages, Hoffman said.

Logan testified all of the audit-related records are either on that server, in backed-up text messages, or in a storage facility in Arizona that is locked and under video surveillance, Hoffman said.

Hoffman said Logan testified that:

  • Images of the Dominion Voting Systems machines were taken to Montana for review with Logan’s permission by Ben Cotton, CEO of the audit subcontractor CyFIR. Logan said he did not know if what was taken to Montana included the firmware for the machines. Questions about the ultimate disposition of that material would have to be posed to Cotton, Logan said.

  • Logan currently controls the actions of Cyber Ninjas as president of its board, and he and his wife have been the sole shareholders since September.

  • Cyber Ninjas is liquidating its assets, but audit-related records will be saved from those assets. One or two laptops have been transferred to an entity that Logan started called “Akolytos,” which does the same sort of work that Cyber Ninjas formerly did.

  • It is undecided whether Cyber Ninjas will declare bankruptcy.

  • Cyber Ninjas passed along document preservation requests received from the Senate to its audit subcontractors in September and January. Logan said he told those companies they had to figure out their own obligations related to preservation. Those companies include StratTech Solutions in Scottsdale; WakeTSI in West Chester, Pennsylvania; and CyFIR in Ashburn, Virginia.

Dispute over judge’s rulings

In his deposition, Logan contended the company had a right to a “clear” ruling subject to appeal before turning over any documents. He said he would appeal to the Supreme Court.

Hoffman said he assumed Logan meant the Arizona Supreme Court. It’s the highest court where most decisions on state law can be appealed.

Cyber Ninjas months ago had turned over some records to the Senate, but Logan said the many documents still in the company’s possession would have to be reviewed for privileged information before release, and Cyber Ninjas had no assets to pay for such a review.

Logan also was concerned that names of people who volunteered for the election recount could be made public and those people could be “doxxed,” and he also said some of the information Cyber Ninjas collected should not be made public, such as images of Dominion voting machines.

Images of Dominion voting machines are beyond the scope of the public records requests from The Republic to the Senate and Cyber Ninjas.

Logan said it could take a significant amount of time to review the documents to determine what should be released as part of the lawsuit, Hoffman said.

Logan testified he used revenue from Cyber Ninjas to pay for expenses during the election review, despite raising millions of dollars in donations for the effort, and that the company lost $200,000 on the project.

His company said in a previous letter to the attorney for the Arizona Senate that the election review cost about $2 million more than it brought in from donations and that subcontractors still were owed another $1.9 million.

Logan failed to appear at a scheduled Jan. 5 deposition with lawyers for American Oversight. The Republic got to participate in the proceeding since the cases were consolidated. Cyber Ninjas and Logan also were fined $1,000 for missing the first deposition.

Reach reporter Ryan Randazzo at [email protected] or 602-444-4331. Follow him on Twitter @UtilityReporter.

Subscribe to azcentral.com today.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Cyber Ninjas CEO Logan not ready to turn over Arizona audit records

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