DENVER — Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters turned herself in to the Pitkin County jail Thursday night and was released about an hour later after a warrant was issued for her arrest for violating a protection order and her bond conditions.
Peters, 66, was booked into the jail at 9:22 p.m. and released at 10:24 p.m. after posting the $1,000 cash bond on the two misdemeanor counts from the warrant: violation of a protection order and violation of bond conditions. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office released her mugshot Friday morning.
A Mesa County judge signed the warrant for her arrest at 12:47 p.m. Thursday. According to an affidavit in support of the arrest warrant, Peters sent Brandi Bantz, who is the appointed Mesa County Designated Election Official, an email at 2:44 a.m. on Wednesday about her recount request that had been denied by the Secretary of State’s Office.
A protection order in Peters’ felony case bars her from contacting any employees of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, where Bantz is the director of elections.
In the emails she sent to Bantz and other elections official, according to the affidavit and the Colorado County Clerks Association, she was trying to push individual counties to conduct a hand recount in the Republican Secretary of State primary that she lost by 14 percentage points.
She is not allowed to direct counties to conduct recounts, the Secretary of State’s Office said Thursday evening. Peters failed to pay the necessary estimated cost for a proper statewide recount last week.
“Clearly, Peters’ request is part of a larger effort to create chaos, disrupt, and cause doubt in our elections. Voters already sent a resounding message to these people by ensuring that election deniers on the ballot across the state were rejected,” CCCA Executive Director Matt Crane said in a statement Wednesday.
Bantz contacted Fruita police and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office chief investigator who has been leading the investigation into the Mesa County election systems breaches for which Peters and two of her current or former employees have been either indicted or criminally charged.
A judge last Friday agreed to quash the warrant issued for Peters’ arrest last week after she violating her bond conditions by traveling to a right-wing sheriffs convention in Las Vegas without court permission.
Peters was out on a $25,000 surety bond following her indictment in March on 10 counts tied to last year’s Mesa County election systems security breach.
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office did not return an email sent Thursday evening asking if it would seek to revoke her bond in that case. Court records did not show any hearing scheduled for Peters Friday as of 11 a.m., but one could still get added to the docket.