Maricopa County Admits To Withholding Routers Demanded In Senate Subpoena

Maricopa County has been at the center of controversy in the 2020 General Election. [Photo courtesy Maricopa County Elections Department]

Maricopa County officials have not fully complied with the State Senate’s election audit subpoenas, a decision made to avoid causing a “significant security risk” to data utilized by numerous law enforcement agencies, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Monday.

“We had previously believed that the risk would be eliminated by redacting the law enforcement data on the routers and not producing it. But we were informed that redaction did not eliminate the risk,” Deputy County Attorney Joseph LaRue wrote in a letter to Senate Audit Liaison Ken Bennett. “We also learned that if criminal elements or others gained access to this data, it might compromise county and federal law enforcement efforts and put the lives of law enforcement personnel at risk.”

The letter from LaRue was prompted by Bennett’s comments to KFYI’s James T. Harris on Monday that Maricopa County officials are not in compliance with subpoenas signed by Senate President Karen Fann and Senate Judiciary Chair Warren Petersen. A judge ruled in February the legislative subpoenas are valid.

The subpoenas resulted in several trucks full of Maricopa County’s elections equipment, records, and nearly 2.1 million original ballots being delivered to Bennett at Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the audit which started April 23.

LaRue’s letter explains that county officials had planned to provide the Senate’s audit team with virtual images of the requested routers, but are not yet sure it is possible to “safely produce router information related to the November 3, 2020 election” without compromising security for criminal justice agencies.

And according to LaRue, providing those images at this time could also put citizens’ confidential data at risk, including social security numbers and protected health information.

“As a result, the County cannot at this time provide the virtual images of routers,” LaRue wrote, without estimating when the requested routers may be handed over.  “I will follow up with you about this when I know more.”

READ MORE ABOUT BENNETT’S ACCUSATION OF NON-COMPLIANCE: Senate Audit Liaison Accuses Maricopa County Board Of Violating Subpoenas