(PatriotWise.com)- Last week, a federal judge said he will fine Cyber Ninjas, the contractor that conducted the audit, $50,000 a day if the firm doesn’t turn over public records related to its audit. But the attorney for Cyber Ninjas, Jack Wilenchik, argued that the fine could not be paid because the company is insolvent and all employees, including Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, have been laid off.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah found Cyber Ninjas in contempt for failing to turn over the documents that two Maricopa County judges and the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled are subject to public records law.
Judge Hannah said the court would not accept the assertion that Cyber Ninjas is “an empty shell” with nobody responsible for making sure it complies. He said no evidence had been submitted showing that Cyber Ninjas in insolvent and pointed out that millions of dollars were raised to support its election review in Maricopa County.
He also noted that Cyber Ninjas could avoid the fines by complying and turning all of its records over to the Arizona Senate as ordered.
Wilenchik had argued that Cyber Ninjas is not subject to the state’s public records law because it is a private company. However, the trial and appellate courts disagreed, with all three ruling that Cyber Ninjas was working on behalf of the Arizona Senate and therefore subject to public records law.
The Arizona Supreme Court declined to take up the case on appeal.
Wilenchik has since asked to be removed as Cyber Ninja’s attorney because they haven’t paid him either. However, Judge Hannah refused to approve his request until new local lawyers are chosen to represent the firm. Two out-of-state attorneys offered to represent Cyber Ninja’s former CEO Doug Loban, but Judge Hannah said they must first be given temporary approval to practice law in Arizona.
When the judge refused to remove him from the case, Wilenchik got into a tense exchange, accusing the judge of showing an “intemperate attitude” toward him and his law firm. He also accused Judge Hannah of being biased toward conservatives and vowed to appeal.