Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters Arrested by Grand Junction Police for Resisting Search Warrant | Election 2022

Police arrested Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters at a restaurant in Grand Junction on Tuesday after she resisted authorities’ attempts to seize an iPad under a search warrant, police said.

Peters was briefly detained and released at the scene pending charges, police said.

Video obtained by 9NEWS shows Grand Junction police detaining Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. Officers were serving a warrant to seize his iPad.

The incident is not directly related to multiple state and federal investigations into Peters’ alleged involvement last year in election data security breaches, authorities confirmed.

The police department spokeswoman said no additional information was available.

According to a search warrant issued Tuesday morning by Mesa County Court, officers were trying to obtain an Apple iPad tablet with a white keyboard case in the possession of Peters. Authorities intended to review data “believed to have been created, accessed, accessed, modified, deleted, uploaded or recorded” between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday, when they suspect Peters recorded the proceedings in a room hearing where the use of electronic recording devices is prohibited.

A representative from Peters’ legal defense fund told Colorado Politics that Peters complied with the warrant by producing the iPad, but officers then attempted to confiscate other property — including his car keys — which were not on the warrant, and she objected. His attorneys are discussing their response, the rep said.

The probable cause affidavit attached to the search warrant served on Peters on Tuesday says that after Peters told the judge she did not tape the proceedings at a hearing on Monday, an assistant district attorney and a paralegal said they observed Peters having the tablet’s camera. application open and was stabilizing the device with its rear-facing camera pointing to a view of the courtroom.

The hearing focused on a personal matter involving Peters’ former chief assistant clerk, Belinda Knisley, who was suspended last year by Mesa County based on allegations that she created a work environment hostile.

The affidavit said authorities were seeking Peters’ iPad and its relevant data as evidence in a potential prosecution for attempting to influence a public official, a Class 4 felony.

Peters has been accused of helping facilitate security breaches in the electoral system, ignoring election rules and defying orders from Secretary of State Jena Griswold. She also faces ethics and campaign finance complaints over gifts she allegedly accepted beyond legal limits.

Last month, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced that the Mesa County Grand Jury was investigating allegations of tampering with Mesa County election materials and official misconduct.

Peters maintains her innocence, arguing that she was taking the necessary steps to preserve election records.

A Mesa County District Court judge found in October that Peters and Knisley authorized the introduction of a security breach in the county’s voting system equipment and ruled that she had breached her obligations .

In August, Griswold ordered Mesa County to replace its voting equipment after system passwords emerged in a video posted online. Days later, exact digital copies of the county’s election system hard drive surfaced online after Griswold staff discovered that 24-hour video surveillance of election materials had been disabled.

That same month, Peters participated in a symposium hosted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a supporter of claims that the 2020 election was rigged against former President Donald Trump.

Lindell said he flew Peters to the event on his private plane and then covered some expenses while she remained out of state for several weeks after Griswold’s initial order.

The Secretary of State’s office and the state’s independent Ethics Commission are investigating complaints that Peters’ acceptance of flights on the Lindell plane and accommodation he said he covered exceeds the $65 cap on gifts officials can accept in Colorado. A separate ethics complaint alleges that Peters raised money for a legal defense fund that violates state ethics law.

In December, Peters dismissed the allegations made in the first ethics complaint, but has yet to publicly respond to the second.

“Ms. Peters strongly denies that she violated Colorado’s ethical requirements in any way,” her attorney, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler, told the commission in a formal response to the lawsuit about the charges. Lindell and Peters trip.

Editor’s Note: This developing story will be updated.

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