Mesa County Deputy Clerk charged with second degree burglary
This arrest is separate from the security breach investigation into the Clerk and Recorder’s Office
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A warrant was issued for the arrest of 66-year-old Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley by the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Knisley faces the charges of Second Degree Burglary (Class 4 Felony) and Cybercrime (Class 2 Misdemeanor).
This arrest is separate from the security breach investigation into the Clerk and Recorder’s Office. At this time, no arrests have been made in connection to that investigation.
Knisley is an employee of Mesa County and is not an elected official. She was served an official written notice of suspension as a Mesa County employee on Aug. 23 at the Mesa County DMV located at 200 S. Spruce St. After her suspension was served, she was then escorted off the premises.
According to the District Attorney, the county had received numerous complaints from multiple sources that Knisley had allegedly engaged in inappropriate and unprofessional conduct in the workplace.
Knisley’s access to Mesa County computers, networks, and servers was disabled by Mesa County IT on the same day as her suspension.
On Aug. 25, around 12 p.m., it was reported that Knisley was inside a secure work area at the Mesa County DMV, the same location she had been escorted off of two days before. According to affidavit, she was caught and escorted off the property.
Around 5 p.m. on the same day, in response to a search warrant issued by the District Attorney, Mesa County Human Resources went to collect Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters’ work notebook computer from her office. The affidavit says during the collection, it appeared Knisley was using Peters’ Mesa County work station to access the secure Mesa County computer network earlier that morning.
Mesa County IT pulled log files from Peters’ work notebook computer that confirmed Peters’ credentials were used to login. Upon further investigation, Mesa County IT also discovered that items were sent to the print server, but were not ultimately printed. The content of these items remains under investigation.
At this time, Peters has not returned to her office in Mesa County since her leave on Aug. 9.
Knisley is facing the charge of Second Degree Burglary. She is accused of knowingly and unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime.
She is also facing the charge of Cybercrime. She is accused of knowingly accessing a computer network system without authorization.
Ultimately, Knisley turned herself in to the 21st Judicial District Court on Sept. 1. Due to this, the District Attorney made arrangements for her to avoid going to jail.
Copyright 2021 KKCO. All rights reserved.