The daughter of late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller – the man responsible for some of North Carolina’s most infamous gerrymanders – turned over four of his external hard drives and 18 thumb drives after his death to the plaintiffs suing North Carolina lawmakers.
Stephanie Hofeller Lizon gave the documents to attorneys in March, a month after she was issued a subpoena in the state partisan gerrymandering case Common Cause v. Lewis. No one objected to the subpoena initially, but Phil Strach, who represents the lawmakers in the case, is objecting to the plaintiffs’ decision to refrain from opening Hofeller’s sensitive tax and medical documents and to withhold them from the other parties to the litigation.
A three-judge Superior Court panel assigned to the case (Judges Paul Ridgeway, Joseph Crosswhite and Alma Hinton) will consider questions today related to civil procedure and subpoenas to determine whether the legislative defendants can have access to all of the documents Lizon turned over or just the ones that don’t contain confidential information about things unrelated to mapmaking.
After Lizon mailed the documents to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, they sent them immediately to a third-party vendor for processing, according to court documents. During that process, it became apparent to the vendor from file and folder names that those materials may have included personal information, such as tax returns and medical and family information.