ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County asks audit to keep documents for possible legal action

May 21, 2021, 3:44 PM

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)...

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

(AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County on Friday sent a litigation hold and preservation notice to Senate President Karen Fann asking that contractors and others associated with the the election audit preserve documents and evidence for possible legal action.

The four-page notice, sent by Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel, comes in the same week the county has fought back against a claim from the audit’s Twitter account that election databases were deleted and evidence spoiled.

“It is clear the Arizona Senate and its contractors do not intend to retract false allegations defaming the County and its employees,” Maricopa County Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement.

“For that reason, Maricopa County is formally requesting Senate President Fann, Senator Petersen, Senate liaison Ken Bennett and contractors involved in the ‘audit’ preserve documents and evidence as they may be subject to future legal claims.”

Maricopa County sent a 14-page letter and supporting documentation to Fann on Monday that included a rebuttal to the claim, saying the auditors couldn’t find the data because they didn’t know where to look.

The county followed up with a tweet Tuesday reaffirming the rebuttal.

“Your tweet, which relies on the ‘modified date’ shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors’ incompetence,” the letter said.

“Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County.”

Ben Cotton, founder of a computer forensics firm working on the audit, told Fann and Petersen at a special meeting Tuesday that he recovered the files that were supposedly deleted.

The claim of deleted databases was amplified by former President Donald Trump and his supporters, who believe conspiracy theories about election irregularities.

The audit’s official Twitter account, which has about 60,000 followers, tweeted the allegation May 12 and it received more than 12,000 retweets.

It was the account’s pinned tweet until Tuesday.

The audit started April 23 and went on hiatus this week because of previously scheduled graduation ceremonies at the Coliseum, where the counting will resume Monday under a lease that runs through the end of June.

When the break began Friday, only about 500,000 of the ballots had been hand counted.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

SkyBridge Arizona is an emerging business park in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It, along with othe...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Major aerospace developments near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport move forward

The skyline around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has some changes in store, including major aerospace develoments.

24 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures at a campaign rally Saturd...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins Missouri and Idaho caucuses, sweeps Michigan GOP convention

Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the convention in Michigan.

12 hours ago

Maine man, 79, dies while hiking Pyramid Trail in Sedona...

Damon Allred

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, establishes chief heat officer

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the state's first Extreme Heat Preparedness Plan, creating the country's first state level heat officer.

12 hours ago

Kacey Musgraves, center, performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Su...

KTAR.com

Kacey Musgraves to play Glendale concert in September

Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to perform at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale on Sept. 27.

14 hours ago

Jose Andres Guerrero Talamantes...

KTAR.com

Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run case in Carefree from December

Police arrested a man on Friday on felony hit-and-run charges involving death as part of an investigation into a crash that occurred in Carefree.

16 hours ago

Traffic is backed up on Interstate 10 near State Route 347 south of metro Phoenix...

KTAR.com

Report lists Phoenix, Tucson among U.S. cities with worst drivers

Two Arizona cities have landed in the top 10 of a national ranking of places with the worst drivers in the nation.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Maricopa County asks audit to keep documents for possible legal action