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Mesa County grand jury will investigate Clerk Tina Peters, prosecutors say

Mesa County election official has been under scrutiny in connection with a security breach
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters speaks during a “Truth and Justice Rally” Dec. 1 at the old Mesa County Courthouse in Grand Junction. (Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun file)

The Mesa County grand jury will investigate allegations that Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters tampered with election equipment, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The grand jury, a panel of citizens that can be convened by prosecutors to conduct an investigation and determine whether charges should be filed against someone, accepted the case on Wednesday.

Peters, a Republican who was barred from overseeing the 2021 election by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, has been under criminal investigation by local, state and federal authorities for months.

Peters has spread baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election being stolen and has been facing scrutiny since she allegedly allowed an unauthorized person to attend a sensitive Dominion Voting Systems software update in May. Photos of passwords taken during the update were then posted online.

“Over the past few months, we have made progress in the multi-agency investigation,” Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubenstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a joint written statement Thursday morning. “This investigation will be thorough and guided by the facts and the law. More information will be made available when the prosecutors are ethically and legally permitted to provide additional details. To maintain the impartiality of the investigation, we have no further comment at this time.”

Peters, who has continued to work as the county’s clerk and recorder, is currently barred from overseeing the elections division under a court order that expires at the end of January. This week, Peters rejected a settlement agreement from the Secretary of State’s Office that would have allowed her to return to the division under strict supervision, according to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Peters objected to requirements that would have required her to “completely repudiate, retract and disavow” some of her past statements about election integrity.

Peters and a representative for her legal defense fund did not immediately return a request for comment.

This story is developing and will be updated.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.