As thousands of travelers trapse the byways to come enjoy the beauty of Otero County and Alamogordo this weekend, and the spectacle of the Thunderbirds and other awesome displays of military pride at Holloman Airforce Base’s Air Show, the murmurs of spectacle also are running amuck around Couy Griffin and a planned Monday May 9th “Special Meeting” of the Otero County Commission.
In a news article released by The Paper, Tierna Unruh-Enos is the publisher at The Paper.
In an article Published May 5th, 2022, at 2:27 pm it suggests that “EchoMail has canceled the contract with the county and finds NO Election Fraud.”
“The “audit” of the 2020 general election in Otero County is facing a setback. According to the Otero County Attorney RB Nichols, the software company EchoMail has canceled the contract with the county. EchoMail was given the contract by Otero County at the urging of a volunteer group of citizens called the New Mexico Audit Force. The group is led by former NMSU professor David Clements and his wife Erin Clements.
In January, the Otero County Commission approved an election audit contract of $49,750 with EchoMail. The EchoMail software has been used in other election audits such as the ones in Maricopa County, AZ, led by the Cyber Ninjas. Election officials in Maricopa disputed nearly every claim found in the audit.
Contract for Services Not Rendered
EchoMail received its first payment of $24,875 from Otero County in February per the terms of the contract. On March 17, the House Congressional Oversight Committee launched an investigation into the Otero County audit and the EchoMail contract. That same day, EchoMail demanded that the balance of the contract be paid in full after turning in a 13-page document of charts and graphs with no actual analysis. The County disputed the claim, saying that they didn’t receive the services they paid for. On April 15, EchoMail returned $15,125 to the county and canceled the remainder of the contract.
Legal documents show that EchoMail contended that it had completed its contract and found no election fraud as a result of its services.
County Commissioner Couy Griffin has scheduled a special commission meeting on Monday, May 9 to discuss the audit — and to propose getting rid of voting machines in the county.”
Since the cancellation of the contract, New Mexico Audit Force has been left to its own devices to complete the audit and analysis on its own. They are not contracted by the county, nor are they a registered business in the state of New Mexico.
Couy Griffin has already gone on the defensive with a tweet to discredit the story and promising a spectacle at Monday’s Commission meeting.
In the meantime, the commission needs to tread lightly to prevent the county from having to expend taxpayer funds to defend its actions in hearings before the courts and or before Congress.
As the Santa Fe New Mexican has reported, “Complaints of harassment and intimidation by volunteers going door to door in Otero County as part of a group that says it’s auditing the county’s 2020 presidential election results prompted Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Attorney General Hector Balderas to issue a voter risk advisory”
Otero County is under investigation after spending $50,000 on election audit by various legal entities and may have to defend its actions in court or via fines.
In the US Congress the House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into a partisan ballot review in Otero County, New Mexico, where an “audit force” is going door to door and questioning voters.
“The Committee is investigating whether the company’s audit and canvass in New Mexico illegally interferes with Americans’ right to vote by spreading disinformation about elections and intimidating voters,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, N.Y., and Jamie Raskin, Md., the chairman of the subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties, wrote in a letter addressed to V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the founder of EchoMail.
According to an article released today by Daily Beast; “The audit came under state and federal scrutiny after EchoMail’s CEO and allies were found to have promoted wild election conspiracy theories. But after a financial dispute with the county, EchoMail packed its bags up early.
“EchoMail fulfilled their obligations under the Contract and found No Election Fraud as a result of their services,” EchoMail’s attorney told The Daily Beast via email.”
All the rhetoric aside; the facts are that a Settlement Agreement has been executed between the County of Otero, New Mexico and EchoMail signed by the CEO of EchoMail and the County Chairperson of Otero County.
A Settlement Agreement has been executed by EchoMail and Otero County ending the relationship and with a demand for a refund for failing to deliver services agreed upon.
A copy of the signed and executed settlement agreement is contained below…
Let’s hope Monday’s Special Commission Meeting does not become the national news spectacle that it potentially could.
Let’s hope rhetoric is kept at bay and the real spectacle reported is the results of a successful Air Show this weekend with 1000’s of happy shoppers spending many dollars in Otero County and contributing positively to growth and prosperity of this beautiful community.
Let’s put our best foot forward daily, for a county that works together for mutual prosperity, and happiness, where positivity prevails, so too comes integrity in governance and in its people.
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