Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters arrested and released Tuesday

Arrest affidavit to be released, according to the Grand Junction Police Department
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters allegedly records court proceedings on her iPad...
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters allegedly records court proceedings on her iPad between the hours of 1302 and 1430 on Monday, Feb. 7.(21st Judicial District Court Mesa County)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 1:55 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - UPDATE (Feb. 8 at 9:39 p.m.): The Grand Junction Police Department released a statement on Tuesday to further clarify the circumstances regarding Clerk Peters’ arrest. The statement reads, “Officers with the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a business in the 500 block of Main Street this morning shortly before 10:45 on a request to assist investigators with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office who advised our officers they were executing a search warrant. Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters was arrested and released on scene, pending charges related to this incident. It’s important to clarify that this arrest is exclusively related to events that occurred today while Grand Junction Police Department officers were assisting the District Attorney’s Investigators on scene, and is not connected to any other ongoing investigations by any other law enforcement entities. An arrest affidavit is being submitted and once it becomes available, will be released.”

The affidavit in support of a search warrant regarding Clerk Peter’s iPad describes how, during Monday’s court proceedings, District Attorney Dan Rubinstein requested a conference at the bench of Judge Matthew Barret to alert the court that Peters “appeared to be recording the hearing.” According to the affidavit, Judge Barret reiterated that recordings were prohibited, and Clerk Peters “represented to the court that she had not made any such recording... If Clerk [Peters] had in fact made a recording, Judge [Barret’s] decisions and actions would have been influence by deceit.”

21st Judicial District Investigator Michael Struwe is alleging that such a recording would violate CRS 18-8-306, with the specific charge being “attempt to influence a public servant,” according to the affidavit. That charge is a class four felony.

There is a separate ongoing criminal investigation into the Mesa Co. Clerk and Recorder’s office. That investigation pertains to an alleged security breach at that office after passwords used to gain access to county voting systems appeared online. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) described Peters’ action allegedly allowing that breach as an “insider attack.” Peters maintains that she has done nothing wrong, and is being retaliated against for investigating the 2020 election.

UPDATE (Feb. 8 at 4:20 p.m.): The search warrant for an iPad in the possession of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters has been released by the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Mesa County.

The search warrant requests the collection of, “An Apple iPad with a white keyboard case located on or about the person of Tina Peters,” for which Peters allegedly recorded a court hearing for Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley on Monday, Feb. 7. Knisley currently faces the charges of burglary and cybercrime, for allegedly entering into a workplace in which she was prohibited and for accessing secure county computer systems when her authorization was revoked.

The search warrant states Peters may have recorded the court proceedings for which she was an audience attendant of, between the hours of 1302 and 1430 on Feb. 7. It should be noted, recording court proceedings is strictly prohibited.

Police executed the search warrant Tuesday morning at 10:45, responding to the 600 block of Main Street. Officers detained Peters at Main Street Bagels for a short period of time, before releasing her. District Attorney Dan Rubinstein (R) reports the iPad was recovered and is now in evidence.

UPDATE (Feb. 8 at 2:18 p.m.): A statement has been released by the Grand Junction Police Department, “Officers with the Grand Junction Police Department responded to a business in the 600 block of Main Street this morning shortly before 10:45 on a request to assist the District Attorney’s Office with an active investigation. County Clerk Tina Peters was arrested and released on scene, pending charges. An arrest affidavit is being submitted and once it becomes available, will be released.”

INITIAL ARTICLE: According to the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters (R) was briefly detained and released by officers Tuesday.

It is not yet known why Peters was detained or for how long.

This article will be updated once more information becomes available.

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