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County starts process for lawsuit against Senate

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Allister Adel

Maricopa County is taking the first steps to what could be a lawsuit against the Senate.

In a letter Friday, County Attorney Allister Adel demanded that Senate President Karen Fann preserve all communications related to the audit. These range from internal memos within the Senate all the way to social media posts.

All that, she said, is part of a legal maneuver known as a “litigation hold notice and document preservation request.” That allows attorneys contemplating a lawsuit to demand that a prospective defendant does not destroy materials that could help prove their case.

More to the point, it puts prospective defendants on notice they have a duty to preserve evidence that they know or should know is relevant or face court sanctions.

Strictly speaking, Adel does not explain her legal theory.

But her letter suggests, at the very least, a libel suit against senators and those involved in the audit who put out what Adel said were false statements that the county had deleted an entire database directory from the election equipment. That even included a post on the Senate audit’s official Twitter account saying the directory was deleted days before the election equipment was delivered.

“This is spoliation of evidence!” the post reads.

And there’s something else.

“We have reason to believe that this audit is not being done in accordance with Arizona law,” Adel wrote.

She did not spell out exactly what the county believes is illegal. But such a claim would lead to yet another lawsuit between the county and the state.

Earlier litigation concerned whether the Senate had a right to subpoena the ballots and voting equipment. A judge eventually concluded that the legislature has broad powers to demand pretty much whatever it wants.

But a claim of impropriety or illegality in how all this is being conducted would require a judge to take a closer look at exactly how the Senate — and its hired contractors — have been handling everything they have.

There also could be a financial component to any litigation. That follows a statement earlier in the week by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that the decision by the Senate to turn the county’s voting equipment over to the outside contractors it hired makes those machines unusable for future elections.

Fann had only a brief comment on the letter.

“Boy, they really don’t want us to finish this audit,” she told Capitol Media Services.

Adel, in her demand letter, was quite comprehensive.

For example, she wants “all communications and correspondence, whether paper or electronic, including but not limited to written correspondence, voice mails, emails, calendar invites, text messages, instant messages, third-party message systems/applications, messages and data chat/chat strings, video files, audio files, and social media posts and messages, whether designated as public or private.”

Adel also is telling Fann to have the Senate and its contractors preserve all cell phones, tablets and computers used by her, agents, clients and contractors for the audit. And she wants these devices “preserved in their entirety for forensic imaging and electronically stored information.”

And if Fann did not get the significance of the message, Adel cited case law which she said empowers judges “to impose significant sanctions against parties who fail to preserve evidence.”

 

9 comments

  1. LOL! Go County Attorney ADEL!!! Glad you will begin to put an end to this stupidity and insane fake audit by Fann and her incompetent and corrupt cyber ninjas.

  2. It is long overdue that someone take legal action to put a halt to this charade of an ‘audit’. The Republicans are becoming experts at making themselves look like jackasses. They certainly act like them.

  3. I wish there was a class action suit against the AZ Senate. I would join right away. The audit company owner is another one of the conspiracy wackos. I do not want any of those individuals having access to my personal information. I bet most of Maricopa CountyVoters feel the same way. They have access to Legal Name, date of birth, address and phone number. Maybe even more info? Arizona State Senators are either total morons or believe the people of Maricopa County are. They are despicable, hiring lowlife con men with no audit experience.

  4. Winston Churchill once said “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”

    Let the audit take place! Biden won so you have nothing to fear.

    Certainly as a parent you would not allow a two year old to continue screaming and hollering, and having a hissy fit. Why calm because when he grows up he will continue doing the same thing.

    When someone continues to protest over and over it looks as if they have something to hide. But if there is shenanigans going in our voting system, our country needs to know.

  5. Thank you, Maricopa County, for sticking up for us! When I think of my family’s ballots in the hands of these conspiracy-theorists, it makes me slightly sick.

  6. Is there any formal
    activity by Maricopa County voters to protest this treatment of their votes; their personal information?

  7. Boy the liberal anti-American communist socialist progressives are out in force here! The ONLY thing this shows is the level and depth of their fear in exposing the truth. This audit has NEVER been about who won or who lost – is has always been about vote integrity – period! If you liberals really believed that the election was fair and square and your candidate won then you should be shouting from the rooftops and jumping for joy that this audit will vindicate your beliefs. Sadly it is just the opposite the stink of your fear that the truth will be exposed is clear and evident for all to see – not only here in AZ but across the nation!

  8. This audit needs to be challenged. Also Ron that was FDR not Churchill and it has no relevance here. The whole audit itself is based on fear and borderline conspiracies. Not to mention there’s been multiple audits already and the people doing this audit rn are not qualified and have a huge amount of bias. There is genuine cause for concern with the security of data and there is a very high likelihood that libel was committed.

  9. Rose E Shoppach

    I would join any class action suit. I do not appreciate having my private voting information given to a disreputable company with no professional experience or training. I would also want to have Katie Hobbs responsibilities restored. She has been a leader in trying to protect Maricopa voters.

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