Cyber Ninjas chief says he wants new firm with same employees

Jan 7, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: 3:40 pm

PHOENIX — The Donald Trump supporter hired to run a review of the 2020 election in Arizona told the state Senate president he’s starting a new company with some of the same employees as Cyber Ninjas, the old firm he’s closing as it faces massive court fines for refusing to release public records.

Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan told Republican Senate President Karen Fann in text messages that he was unable to sell the firm because of “too much negativity around the name,” but he plans to sell off all its assets to pay debts and eventually file for bankruptcy. His lawyer says Logan can’t fulfill a court order to release public records because the company has no money, even though Trump allies raised millions of dollars for the unprecedented partisan election review.

Logan did not say whether his new firm would do essentially the same work as Cyber Ninjas, but he said his efforts have been running into obstacles. He told The Associated Press he’s not trying to circumvent the court fines and public records orders, but he needs to work.

“If Cyber Ninjas goes out-of-business I either need to get a job with someone else (which was considered), or start from scratch with a new company,” Logan wrote in an email to the AP. “The latter is the route I chose to go.”

The text messages also suggest a growing rift between Fann and Logan, a cybersecurity consultant with virtually no experience in elections or auditing until Fann hired him last spring to conduct what she called a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and 60% of Arizona’s voters.

Logan’s team oversaw a hand recount of ballots that confirmed President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Maricopa County, examined vote-counting machines and analyzed a trove of election data. His report claimed to find a number of irregularities, which Trump and his allies have repeatedly trumpeted to support their false claim the election was stolen, but election experts said the claims were inaccurate, misleading or based on a flawed understanding of the data.

Logan and Fann have been at odds over $100,000 of the $150,000 the Senate agreed to pay Cyber Ninjas, which has been withheld.

The text messages were sent from Logan to Fann on Monday and released to The Associated Press on Friday in response to a public records request. Chris Kleminich, the Senate’s public records attorney, said Fann did not respond to Logan.

“I’m not niave enough to think for a second that the Senate has my back,” Logan wrote in the messages. “The actions chosen through all of this speak quite a bit louder than the words; and make it clear the Senate has no intention of honoring what was committed to. The choice has been made to try what can legally be gotten away with rather than what is ethical or right.”

Logan told the AP his dispute with Fann stems from the outstanding $100,000 payment and the Senate’s refusal to pay his legal fees in the public records dispute, which he believes is required under their contract.

“I have no intention of throwing you or anyone else under the bus, but I expect the time has also come for me to stop completely covering for decisions I didn’t make,” he continued to Fann.

Cyber Ninjas has been fighting two public records lawsuits filed by The Arizona Republic newspaper and the watchdog group American Oversight, arguing it is not subject to the public records law because it is a private company. Judges in both cases and the state Court of Appeals have disagreed.

Judge John Hannah of the Maricopa County Superior Court said Thursday he will fine Cyber Ninjas $50,000 a day starting Friday if it doesn’t release public records. He warned that he’ll extend the fines to “individuals who are responsible for compliance with this order,” and not just the company, if necessary.

“The court is not going to accept the assertion that Cyber Ninjas is an empty shell and that no one is responsible for seeing that it complies,” Hannah said.

Logan told the AP he plans to comply with the court order, but he wants more clarity from the judge and money from the Senate to cover costs, which he said the court is underestimating.

“When the rulings of the court are no longer ambiguous, and are within our capabilities to execute; it will happen,” he said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Fiery crash over the weekend leaves 3 dead, 2 injured in Phoenix

Three people were killed after their vehicle caught fire when it was rear-ended by a vehicle with two men inside on Saturday night in Phoenix.
13 hours ago
Rain in the West Valley, via Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera...

Weekend storm sets new daily rain record in Phoenix

Recent storms passing across the Valley set new rainfall records at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Saturday.
13 hours ago
An American bald eagle flies over Mill Pond on July 29, 2018 in Centerport, New York.  (Photo by Br...
Alex Weiner

Arizona Game and Fish takes measures to avoid disturbing bald eagles during breeding season

Bald eagle mating season is here, and wildlife officials in Arizona are warning recreationists and pilots to avoid disturbing breeding areas. 
13 hours ago
(Federal American Grill Photo)...
Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Houston restaurant to open first Arizona location in Scottsdale

Federal American Grill, a restaurant concept based in Houston, will open its first Arizona location in Scottsdale in the coming weeks.
13 hours ago
FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
2 days ago
(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)...

Repeat sex offender sentenced to 20 years in Arizona prison

An Arizona man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for class three dangerous felonies and will be registered as a sex offender after release.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Cyber Ninjas chief says he wants new firm with same employees