Updated 7/22/22 at 10:20 a.m.
Peters turned herself in to the Pitkin County Jail Thursday night, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office. Authorities say Peters paid a $1,000 bond and was released after spending about an hour in custody.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is expected to be arrested for allegedly violating her bond after she contacted the Elections Department in Mesa County earlier this week. A restraining order bars Peters from contacting any employees from the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's office.
Peters, a Republican, was indicted earlier this year for allegedly tampering with election equipment and for misconduct, in an effort to expose what she sees as fraud in the 2020 election. She faces 10 state charges and an ongoing criminal investigation. She claims her actions were intended to promote confidence in her county’s voting procedures, and were legal.
According to the arrest warrant, Peters emailed Brandi Bantz, the Director of Elections in Mesa County, on July 20, 2022, at 2:44 a.m. to ask the county to hand-recount the results of another election — the recent GOP primary race for Secretary of State. Peters lost the GOP primary in June.
“The court is satisfied that there is probable cause to believe that the person named in the Application has committed the offenses of Violation of a Protection Order, Violation of Bond Conditions.”
Peters has not accepted the results of the Republican primary race in which she lost. The Colorado County Clerks Association said Peters has no legal authority to ask counties for a hand recount in a race that wasn’t close. Colorado’s current Secretary of State has already denied her request for a statewide recount, unless Peters was willing to foot the bill for it, as is the practice in instances where the race isn’t close.
In the early-morning email to Bantz, according to the warrant, Peters said she does have standing as a candidate to request a recount.
When CPR News asked Peters for a response to the arrest warrant, she texted, “Harassment by Barrett.”
Matthew Barrett is a Mesa County District Court Judge, and while he didn’t sign the latest arrest warrant, he did handle Peters’ case last week in which she was almost arrested for violating her bond when she went to Nevada despite Barrett’s order banning travel. That arrest warrant ended up getting canceled after Peters’ attorney took responsibility for Peters’ violation, saying he had failed to tell her about the judge’s order barring out-of-state travel, and prosecutors didn’t object.
However, Barrett said during a court hearing on July 15 that Peters had violated her bond. “It cannot be disputed. You did not have permission to go to Las Vegas. You did not have permission to leave Colorado.”
Even though he said he followed his general practice of showing leniency, he warned that he would not be so lenient for additional violations.
“It will not happen again. It will not happen again. You understand that, Ms. Peters?” said Barrett.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
More coverage of the 2020 Mesa County voting machine security breach
- June 29: Election denial is a losing message as centrist Republicans sweep statewide Colorado primaries
- May 19: DA investigation refutes Tina Peters’ claims of Mesa County 2020 election fraud
- May 10: Election security bill inspired by Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters headed to governor’s desk
- March 16: What if the threat is coming from inside? Democrats push for tighter rules for Colorado’s election officials
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