Briefline

Mesa County grand jury to investigate Tina Peters allegations

By: - January 13, 2022 12:33 pm

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters speaks during a rally organized by the Truth & Liberty Coalition in support of her. The rally took place on Dec. 1, 2021, in front of the old Mesa County courthouse in Grand Junction. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

The Mesa County grand jury will investigate allegations related to vulnerabilities that Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters helped create in the county’s election system during a software update last spring, local and state officials announced Thursday. 

“Over the past few months, we have made progress in the multi-agency investigation into allegations of Mesa County election equipment tampering and official misconduct. The Mesa County grand jury accepted the case on January 12 and will assist with the investigation,” reads a statement put out by Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubenstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

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A grand jury is an investigative body made up of citizens. Its proceedings are private. 

Peters, a Republican, is accused of allowing an unauthorized person, Gerald Wood, to attend a Dominion Voting Systems software update in May 2021. Sensitive information including photos of confidential passwords for the county’s voting systems were then posted online after the update.

Peters has spread baseless claims about fraud during the 2020 presidential election and appeared at a “cyber symposium” held by election denier Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow. 

She was barred from overseeing the 2021 coordinated election in Mesa County and rejected a deal with the secretary of state’s office that would have allowed her to be involved in the 2022 elections with strict conditions. 

Peters was not named in the announcement from Rubenstein and Weiser and it is unclear if the grand jury investigation will involve other people, such as deputy clerk Belinda Knisley. 

“This investigation will be thorough and guided by the facts and the law. More information will be made available when the prosecutors are ethically and legally permitted to provide additional details,” the announcement reads.

Peters did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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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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