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Court documents reveal that KSP took computer from Grimes' office

Grimes fights back in court after police seize computer without warrant
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Posted at 4:29 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 16:47:51-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky State Police have seized a computer from the office of the Secretary of State as part of their investigation into Grimes' use of voter data. Grimes' counsel has filed a motion arguing against the seizure and is demanding a summary judgment from the court.

A spokesperson for Grimes confirmed that the computer had been removed. Spokeswoman Lillie Ruschell told LEX 18 that the computer belonged to the architect of the state voter registration system after Secretary of State Grimes "publicly reprimanded the state board of election for their unlawful action against 175,000 voters."

A motion was filed in Franklin County court Tuesday in response to a previously filed motion to take the computer which belonged to Steve Spisak, a software developer in the office. Grimes filed a response calling the motion for summary judgment "unconstitutionally overbroad" and challenges the special counsel and other top ranking Democrat, Attorney General Andy Beshear in court paperwork.

"On September 17, 2019, state police, with no warrant or subpoena, seized the computer used by the individual who created and maintained the VRS. Despite this ongoing investigation, the Attorney General argues that determining whether these criminal statutes are constitutional is not justiciable," reads the motion.

The Secretary of State's office has been the subject of an inquiry into Grimes' access to voter records after allegations from Jared Dearing, the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. Dearing claimed that Grimes was overstepping her position and was using the database to pull information on political rivals and others.

Grimes has always denied that she overstepped her role.

"It is no coincidence that this illegal action by KSP happened just hours after the Secretary publicly reprimanded the State Board of Elections for unlawfully altering over 175,000 voter’s records in the Voter Registration System (VRS). The key architect of the VRS system had his computer taken by the state police without a warrant or subpoena after he requested a meeting be rescheduled so that counsel could be present. Our office has always partnered with law enforcement agencies. What happened yesterday is unacceptable. Clearly someone doesn’t want the Secretary to have oversight over Kentucky’s elections and protect Kentucky voters. This is reflected in these intimidating and harassing actions," said Ruschell.