After being barred from overseeing county elections two years in a row, the Mesa County clerk-recorder lost a primary bid for secretary of state last month.
(CN) — A Colorado judge issued a bondless warrant for embattled Mesa County Clerk-Recorder Tina Peters on Thursday after she violated the terms of her release by traveling to Las Vegas for a conference.
Peters first came under scrutiny in 2021 after a security breach in her office led to the exposure of sensitive passwords and election processes. She is accused of allowing an unauthorized person to participate in what should have been a secure process for installing an update to the electronic voting system. Court documents indicate Peters took videos and photos, which included passwords and were leaked online.
While under investigation by both the state and the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Peters told supporters she is standing up for what she believes in while citing baseless election fraud conspiracies spread after Biden won the presidency in 2020.
This past January, Democratic Secretary of State Griswold successfully sued to block Peters from participating in Mesa County’s elections for the second year in a row.
Both the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners and the district attorney’s office investigated Peters’ claims of irregularities in the 2020 vote count, but did not find evidence of a single fraudulent vote. Presented with Peters’ report of fraud, District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein found only human error.
Following a grand jury investigation, prosecutors charged Peters with three felony counts of attempting to influence a public servant, four felony counts related to impersonation and identity theft and a misdemeanor count each of official misconduct, violating her duties and failing to comply with the secretary of state’s requirements.
Peters initially posted bond for $25,000. Then 21st Judicial District Judge Matthew Barrett granted Peters’ request to travel as necessitated by her bid for secretary of state. Barrett was appointed by Democratic Governor Jared Polis.
Peters lost the Republican primary by more than 15 points last month to Pam Anderson, who will face off against Griswold in November.
District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein therefore filed a motion on Monday asking the court to revoke Peters’ travel allowance since she was no longer campaigning. Barrett barred Peters from traveling while awaiting her response.
“The People believe that Ms. Peters needs to be treated like all other criminal defendants on bond and needs to file a motion asking for a modification of her bond conditions, and get permission from the court prior to traveling,” the motion argued. “Ms. Peters has less motivation to appear in court now that she is no longer a candidate.”
On Wednesday, Rubinstein filed to revoke Peters’ bond after finding she traveled to Las Vegas for the Constitutional Sheriff’s and Peace Officer’s Association conference without permission from the court. Peters spoke at the conference and sent a notarized letter to the Colorado secretary of state stamped in Clark County, Nevada.
Barrett issued a no-bond warrant for Peters Thursday morning.
Peters filed a motion to quash the warrant Thursday afternoon, saying she was unaware of the order and that she is not a flight risk. The court scheduled a hearing Friday afternoon.
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