A contractor is extorting me by publishing my project in a public repo

I hired a contractor to help with a project. They didn’t produce any work and failed to start the project after failing to appear in kickoff meetings and then failing to appear in rescheduled kickoff meetings. Logically, if you don’t appear for the job you were hired for, then as a manager, you have to let them go am I right? In this case, they demanded to get paid even after no tangible contributions.

Immediately they demand payment and threaten to publish our codebase to a public repo. So they did. All of it including our notebooks we used to prototype our ML pipelines, backend services, everything. I’ve reached out to GitHub and reported via GitHub Support

Is there anything else I could be doing? Thanks in advance.

Is there a legal contract or agreement? Then this is probably a breach of contract and you can go to the police or directly to your lawyer.

If not, you can also try to go this way because of blackmailing, but it can be harder to bring an evidence. Since I’m not a lawyer, I can’t give you specific instructions. It also depends on your local laws etc.