Judge issues arrest warrant for Colorado elections official over bond violation

July 14 (UPI) -- A Colorado judge on Thursday issued a warrant for Tina Peters, the Mesa County clerk who was indicted on charges of tampering with election equipment.

Judge Matthew Barrett of Colorado's 21st Judicial District said Peters, who recently lost a bid to serve as secretary of state, violated the conditions of her $25,000 bond by leaving the state without the court's approval.


"Ms. Peters needs to be treated like all other criminal defendants on bond and needs to file a motion asking for a modification of her bond conditions and get permission from the court prior to traveling," Mesa County District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein said. "Ms. Peters has less motivation to appear in court now that she is no longer a candidate. Additionally, she has evidenced through her travel prior to the election that she has the means to flee if she wants to."


According to court documents, Peters traveled to Las Vegas to speak at a conference of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which the group said was held in response to a "nationwide call for election fraud investigations by sheriffs and law enforcement."

While in Las Vegas for the conference, Peters appeared in a photo alongside Gail Golec, a candidate for Arizona's Maricopa County Supervisors Board, that was posted on social media with a caption that read "strategizing next steps for #election protection."

A letter requesting a recount of her race in Colorado's June primary was signed by Peters and notarized on Tuesday in Nevada.

Peters' attorney, Harvey Steinberg, filed a motion Thursday seeking to dismiss the arrest warrant, saying that his client was not aware she was not allowed to travel.

Steinberg said he was out of the office on Monday when the court imposed new restrictions on Peters' out-of-state travel "and did not see it until later," adding that he had failed to notify Peters "until it was too late."

He added that Peters sent an email notifying him of her travel details on July 7, but said he failed to notify the court about the plans as the email was "part of an email thread."


"Ms. Peters simply did not know that she was prohibited from traveling to Las Vegas and her conduct proves it," Steinberg wrote.

"She publicly appeared with law enforcement officers in Las Vegas and she livestreamed her appearance for everyone to see. If she knew that the court prohibited her travel, she would not have publicized that she was in Las Vegas," he said. "Further, Ms. Peters told her bondsman that she was going to Las Vegas before she left. If she were knowingly violating bond conditions, she certainly would not have told him her plans."

Peters was indicted in March on 10 criminal charges -- three felonies and seven misdemeanors -- including identity theft, attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, violation of duty and first degree official misconduct.

She and her deputy clerk, Belinda Knisley, are accused of facilitating a security breach of the county's election system by allegedly helping an unauthorized person make copies of voting machine hard drives as well as committing identity theft against a local man, Gerald "Jerry" Wood, in order to grant an unidentified person access to the voting machine software updates and hard drives.

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