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Judge tosses arrest warrant for indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

By: - July 15, 2022 5:16 pm

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at her primary election watch party at the Wide Open Saloon in Sedalia on June 28, 2022. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)

A Mesa County District Court judge Friday quashed an arrest warrant for and motion to revoke the bond of indicted Clerk Tina Peters but emphasized that any unauthorized travel going forward will be in violation of her bond conditions.

Judge Matthew Barrett on Thursday revoked Peters’ bond and issued a warrant for her arrest after she traveled to Las Vegas without court approval, but he took back that decision following a Friday afternoon hearing with Peters and her lead attorney.

District Attorney Dan Rubinstein did not object to the motion to quash.

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Barrett said he was giving Peters a second chance after her attorney, Harvey Steinberg, took full responsibility for Peters being unaware of a court order prohibiting her travel. Peters was in Las Vegas on July 12 speaking at a conservative law enforcement event.

“That is the court’s standard practice in circumstances such as this,” Barrett said in explaining his decision. “It will not happen again. Ms. Peters, if you leave one minute before the time that you’re telling me you’re going to leave, that is a violation of your bond.”

Steinberg explained to Barrett during the hearing that he did not see his order against Peters’ travel until she was already in Las Vegas, claiming that he is “computer illiterate” and doesn’t use the court’s data sharing system, and his staff that typically handle it were out of the office. Peters, who is under a grand jury indictment for charges related to an elections security breach in her office, is under bond conditions that require court approval before she travels out of state.

While Barrett’s order against her travel came down the morning of July 11, Peters was on a plane that same evening. Peters then spent the next day in Las Vegas. Steinberg said he became aware of the order on July 13 and Peters then “immediately” came home.

There was also confusion on Peters’ notice to travel itself. While she emailed her attorneys that she would be traveling on July 12, she actually left the day before. Therefore, she failed to give any proper notice of her travel.

Barrett expressed incredulity that Peters’ team of lawyers failed to notify their client of a significant order from the court, but Steinberg took the blame and it worked in the defense team’s favor.

“The buck stops here. I’m the lead lawyer and I’m taking responsibility,” Steinberg said.

Barrett said that because Peters, who lost a June 28 Republican primary election for secretary of state, is no longer a candidate and has a less compelling reason to travel, she needs to file a motion with the court and get it approved before traveling out of state instead of simply giving notice. Those motions have a five-day waiting period for the prosecution to respond and the judge to make a decision.

He said that Peters is a flight risk who has means to disappear with the use of private planes. She also has wealthy allies, such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Peters is set to appear in court for the security breach case on Aug. 5. She faces both felony and misdemeanor charges, including allegations of attempting to influence a public servant and criminal impersonation.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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