BREAKING: Mesa County Clerk Barred From Election Duties

Heidi Ganahl and Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, the ruling is back in the case seeking to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from her duties overseeing elections while the criminal investigation into her conduct continues–and Peters is officially relieved:

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters will not be allowed to participate in the upcoming November election, a judge ruled Wednesday in the latest admonishment of the Republican who is under investigation in a breach of her county’s election system.

The ruling from Mesa County District Court Judge Valerie J. Robison comes after Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, sued to block Peters from being involved in the November election amid criminal investigations into Peters’ office.

Robison wrote in her 22-page ruling that that Griswold’s office “met the burden of showing that Peters and (Deputy Clerk Belinda) Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.” As such, the judge wrote, the pair are “unable or unwilling to appropriately perform the duties of Mesa County Designated Election Official.”

It’s just the first in what we’ve been anticipating for months since the story of a serious breach in election system security in Mesa County first surfaced, and then quickly became part of the desperate canon clung to by supporters of Donald Trump in their by-now entirely faith-based conviction that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The nonsensical justifications for allowing this criminal breach of security and leak of proprietary data to the public offered up by Clerk Peters through her attorney Scott Gessler were always destined for a cold dose of reality once they arrived in front of a judge. The legal system appears to be making short of work of Peters’ defense, like dozens of bogus lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results across the country.

Which, as readers recall, also featured Scott Gessler’s “expertise.”

Almost a year later, no credible evidence that the 2020 election was illegitimate has emerged for any source. Nothing Clerk Peters either allegedly stole or allowed to be stolen has provided evidence to support the baseless conspiracy theory that prompted Peters’ actions. If Peters had any reality-based suspicion of a problem with Mesa County’s election systems, there were channels to address that not requiring the commission of a crime.

These basic facts might be unclear to a mob, but a judge’s job by design is to cut through the bullshit.

And the judging’s not over yet. The criminal side of “MesaGate” is just getting started.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Why is she not under arrest?

    Did she not do something illegal? Breach of security? Release of personal information? Aid and abet the stealing of intellectual property? Computer fraud?

  2. spaceman2021 says:

    Because this was a statutory proceeding under Section 1-1-113, Peters only has 3 days to appeal to the CO supreme court.  Pretty sure she will get no relief there.  So she can sit out this election and whine like a good lil RWNJ

  3. marc sobel says:

    does anyone know how to access the ruling. I'd like to read it.


  4. Sparky says:

    One has to wonder how many other counties across the country are seeing plots exactly like Peters’ but which have gone undetected and unpunished. We may never know, but we’ll certainly see the results in the next couple elections.

    • Dionaea says:

      I've had that thought too.  Given that Republicans routinely accuse Democrats of the crimes that they themselves are committing, it makes me wonder if they've managed to hack any previous elections at some level.  I hate being so paranoid but it seems like that's the world we live in these days.

      • Duke Cox says:

        I don't think you are being paranoid. You have a legitimate concern.

        It would behoove all citizens, especially those who pay only marginal attention to politics, to spend a bit more time getting educated about what is a real, fire-breathing, existential threat to our Union.

        These fascist extremists are dedicated and WILL NOT STOP until Donald Trump and his criminal organization are rooted out of our government and removed from power. What has happened to Tina Peters needs to start happening across the country.

        STOP THE LIE!

        Vote Blue…No Matter Who!

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        The only problem with this paranoia is that Colorado is trending deep deep blue at the state level.  Given the whack-a-doodle candidates lined up to compete against proven politicians like Polis, odds are that election tampering in the remote corners of the state aren't going to effect much other than the local surveyor election.  I would be more concerned if the SOS was in the hands of a Republican weasel like Gessler at this time.  Griswold has a better than decent chance of winning re-election so don't start doom obsessing just yet.

        • notaskinnycook says:

          I think you're right, G.G. The real RWNJs seem to be the most active in the corners of the state, so I think it will probably be the county offices that will be the most affected. There will be too much attention paid to the state-wide and legislative offices for these freaks to get away with this chicanery.

        • Dionaea says:

          Despite Tina Peters I actually feel quite positive about Colorado’s Election integrity.  The fact that most people vote by mail which leaves a solid paper trail is reassuring. My fears of Republican fraud are stronger in other states. The Republican accusations of fraud are at a national level so this is not just a Colorado issue.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      My speculation … not many other counties involved in the same fashion.  If they were, there would have been more public incidents of someone sharing the images.  The incentive is to make the move, then sell the information to RWNJs like Pillow Man.  Or show it off to politicians in order to demonstrate capabilities to find (or tamper with) breaches of security. 

      Dominion and Smartmatic and any other company providing the machines have a vested interest in their intellectual property showing up or their reputation being undermined and thus limiting sales.

      So I think Mesa County is "special" — and will get all the law enforcement, prosecutor, and judicial notice appropriate to their actions, helping to deter future efforts.

  5. Duke Cox says:

    The Tina Peters story is a cautionary tale that should inform everyone about the willingness of the Altright to lie and cheat

    No…doomsaying is not appropriate.

    Communication, preparation, action…are.

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