An announcement made on Tuesday by Los Angeles County District Attorney said that the CEO of Konnech Corporation, Eugene Yu, has been arrested as part of an investigation concerning the possible theft of personal identifying information of Los Angelean poll workers after investigators found that information was improperly stored on servers in the People’s Republic of China.
The press release explained that the county and Konnech agreed to a $2.9 million, five-year contract for its PollChief product, an election worker management system that was utilized by the county in the last California election. The software coordinates election workers by creating poll worker assignments and aiding with communications and payroll. To use the software, workers must submit personal identifying information, which Konnech reportedly retains, the press release said.
The investigation, coordinated with East Lansing, Mich. authorities, is limited to the personally identifying information of election workers, while “the alleged conduct had no impact on the tabulation of votes and did not alter election results,” the press release noted. Though the arrest occurred in Michigan where Konnech is headquartered, the district attorney has requested Yu’s extradition to Los Angeles.
According to New York Times coverage of the investigation, the district attorney’s office disclosed that it had reason to believe that the election workers’ information was “criminally mishandled.”
The article by Stuart A. Thompson also made light of other troubles Konnech has had with election-related data handling. For example, Konnech sued True the Vote, a non-profit that purports to dedicate resources to uncovering election fraud, after the organization accused Konnech of storing nearly 2 million American poll workers’ information on a server owned by the company and hosted in China.
The September-filed suit said that True the Vote and its leaders repeatedly attacked Konnech and Yu with their “unique brand of racism and xenophobia by their completely baseless claims that Konnech, its founder, and employees are ‘Chinese operatives.’” The complaint sought damages stemming from the allegedly defamatory statements as well as a temporary restraining order.
The Southern District of Texas court overseeing the case granted the latter request, ordering True the Vote not to disseminate the information and to say which of their team accessed Konnech’s systems.