The Lockout

Slander, innuendo, deception, concealment

What happened?

Started: 5pm - May 3, 2018 - Thursday night.

Lockout: 7am - May 4th, 2018 - Friday morning.

Status: All agreements with ACTRA were terminated.

The Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance (ACTRA) and its leader Frank Grimmelman utilized a loophole, ironically meant to protect the AZCWR from ever being shut down, to forcefully shut down The Arizona Cyber Warfare Range (AZ01) and lockout its operators, leadership and volunteers.

The stated pretence for this action was to "take inventory". There are several facts that prove this assertion is false;

  1. The lockout took place before the AZCWR leadership was notified. ACTRA has never been denied access to the AZCWR. Thus the "taking of inventory" would never have been an issue. Nothing would have stopped the process of taking inventory. There was never any need to lockout the AZCWR leadership and volunteers.
  2. The orders given by Frank Grimmelman included an attempt to "lockout" the AZCWR leadership from the entire facility. This failed due to other contractual obligations of the facility.
  3. Frank Grimmelman ordered the facility to file a criminal trespass complaint against anyone who even attempted to enter the AZCWR. This was a trap set by Frank Grimmelman to grievously injure the lives and careers of the AZCWR volunteers by giving them all a criminal record, legal expenses, and difficulty finding future employment to anyone who simply showed up to volunteer on the regularly scheduled volunteer days.
  4. The AZCWR volunteers have been denied access to the "inventory taking staff" who cannot possibly know what equipment is not ACTRA's. The staff "taking inventory" is from a Phoenix area company who has no relationship with the AZCWR.
  5. The people "taking inventory" unplugged the security cameras which are unrelated, not relevant to ACTRA. Those cameras have remained offline.
  6. The lockout included a termination of the Internet connection. This would have taken all of the ranges offline had we not had a solid disaster recovery plan. What inventory requires a company to go completely offline for several weeks?

How was this even possible?

When the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range started in 2012 it was formed as a non-profit corporation. It was seeking to obtain a 501c3 public benefit designation. The AZCWR had a relationship with the Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance (ACTRA) because the AZCWR leadership was a significant contributor to the intent, objectives, and operational strategy of ACTRA. The ACTRA mission was intended to be a supporting initiative and strong ally of the AZCWR.

Upon legal advice, AZCWR operations was separated from the donated equipment (and the leases) to ensue the AZCWR could not be shut down (ironic) due to legal issues. The AZCWR would form a 501c3 to hold the equipment and any intellectual property and a non-profit corporation would be "the operator" of the range.

Why is ACTRA involved with the equipment?

While endeavouring to form the 501c3 the AZCWR team ran into difficulty and when significant hardware donations were made, it was urgent that initial 501c3 designation was obtained. ACTRA's Frank Grimmelman convinced the accounting and legal representatives involved in helping the AZCWR that obtaining a 501c3 would be impossible and therefore, cut off, the option of forming a new 501c3 by the AZCWR. This fact was not discovered until much later. The inability to form a new 501c3 forced the AZCWR to "find options"for the legal intake and holding of the equipment. ACTRA's Frank Grimmelman suggested that the AZCWR transfer all of its equipment at the time to his 501c3 organization, ACTRA, as a solution. As the AZCWR was really not in a position to choose based on time constraints, they reluctantly agreed to transfer all of the equipment to ACTRA.

How did ACTRA get into a position to interfere with the lease agreement?

Under the same legal advice and theory, the AZCWR needed to hold the lease for its locations under a friendly partner organization. The non-profit corporation was then contracted to be the exclusive operators of the AZCWR. Legally, the AZCWR is the exclusive operator of the AZCWR locations while ACTRA signed and held the leases.

So then how did ACTRA manage to lockout the AZCWR volunteers if the AZCWR is the exclusive operator of the ranges?

The east side location, AZ01, has its lease agreement with the City of Mesa. Frank Grimmelman's name on the lease agreement was used to force the City of Mesa, AZ to issue the lockout order. The criminal trespass order was something Frank Grimmelman demanded of the facility operators. A little something extra intended to harm our volunteers who would not have known of the shut-down or criminal trespass order.

It is pretty clear by now, this was never about taking inventory. What is this really about?

Frank has been asking technical people for their help in replacing the AZCWR organization. Most have refused. This action in particular shows what this drama is really about. He wants to destroy our organization. This will not happen.

The questions remain:

  • If this was actually about "taking inventory" and ACTRA had full access 24x7, why was the lockout necessary?
  • If the "taking inventory" is a standard practice, why was / is it conducted without prior notice?
  • Why did your "inventory people" unplug the security cameras? Why have they remained offline? Why was the Internet disconnected too?
  • Why is locking out the range leadership, contractual operators, and volunteers necessary?
  • Why file criminal charges against unsuspecting volunteers simply attempting to enter a range they legally had access too, and visited every week, for years?
  • Why would criminal charges be filed against volunteers had no possible way of knowing until it was too late?
  • How is filing criminal charges against unsuspecting volunteers, and damaging their ability to hold or obtain employment a "standard business practice" or an ok thing to do to volunteers?
  • Why use the power given you by the Governor of Arizona (Doug Ducey) "Cyber Action Team", your affiliation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with your commercial sponsors, to squash a 501c3, its volunteers, and its positive impacts on many lives?
  • Frank Grimmelman, how do you justify shutting down the very program that helped Arizona get on the national scene in cyber, is widely recognized as a world leader, and the one organization truly making a difference in cyber security to the benefit of our country?
  • Who is supporting you in these offences against the AZCWR?
  • If the AZCWR's team is the exclusive operators of the ranges, how do you justify this lockout of everyone volunteering at the AZCWR, even leadership?
  • After reportedly finishing the taking of inventory, why does the lockout continue?
  • Apparently there is a old Arizona university involved, which one is it Frank? (update) this university's efforts have been neutralized... for now.

We were asked by several members of ACTRA to submit a resolution to repair the issues between the organizations. We did submit a resolution, which you can read here. Apparently no ACTRA user ever got the read it. They held a meeting on June 7th, 2018 and the resolution was not even mentioned. We have made every effort to resolve this matter without further disruption and damage. Sadly, ACTRA will not work with us on this.

The week of June 17th, 2018 ACTRA formally terminated our relationship and ordered us to document and remove the non-ACTRA equipment from the range. However, no range person was granted access to AZ01. Therefore, the order was made with no possible chance of compliance. We remain locked out. AZ01 is filled with equipment not belonging to ACTRA, the nice term for this theft is called "conversion". There can be bo doubt on the intent of ACTRA to destroy our organization.

As of June 11th 2018, we now know that ACTRA is attempting to give away all of our equipment. Further confirming ACTRA's attempts to destroy our organization.