DENVER — Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters will not be allowed to oversee the 2022 elections, a Mesa County judge ordered Tuesday. The court’s decision bars Peters from serving as the Designated Election Official for the county through the completion of all 2022 election related activities.
Tuesday’s ruling stems from a January lawsuit filed by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and marks the second time Peters was removed from that role. She was blocked from overseeing the 2021 elections. Peters can only be removed from her position as clerk through a recall.
The court appointed Brandi Bantz, the current Mesa County Director of Elections and a former senior elections specialist in El Paso County, as the new DEO for this year.
“The Court’s decision today bars Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa’s elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible elections they deserve,” Griswold said in a news release. “Brandi Bantz has worked in Colorado elections for over 20 years, including as a Director of Elections in Mesa, and I am confident Mesa voters will have great elections this year. As Secretary of State, I will continue to provide the support and oversight needed to ensure the integrity of Colorado’s elections.”
Peters is facing a grand Mesa County jury investigation into allegations she tampered with county election equipment and committed official misconduct after the county’s election system was compromised and images of hard drives were put onto election conspiracy theory websites last year.
In February, Peters turned herself in to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office on misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer and obstructing government operations from an incident the day before at a Grand Junction bakery.
District attorney’s office investigators were serving a search warrant on Peters, trying to obtain an iPad which she allegedly used earlier last week to illegally record a court proceeding involving her deputy clerk’s burglary and cybercrime charges.
Along with the grand jury investigation, the local district attorney’s office, attorney general’s office, and FBI have all been involved in investigations into Peters as well.
Peters said she intends to run for reelection as the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder and is running for secretary of state.