GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters was issued a contempt citation Wednesday after allegedly recording a court hearing in a Mesa County court room in early February, the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office announced.
According to the search warrant, Peters was seen with an iPad allegedly video recording the Feb. 7 hearing. The proceeding was in connection to a criminal case against Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley, who is accused of being at a county building and using her boss’s computer while she is on administrative leave.
During the proceeding, the judge addressed the audience, reminding them that recordings are prohibited, which the judge said is also posted on signs at the entrance of the courtroom, according to the search warrant. Later during the hearing, Peters allegedly made statements in the courtroom, denying that she was recording "and those accusing her of recording were not being truthful," the warrant stated.
The 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office said in a statement that an investigation into the allegations had been completed. Instead of criminal charges, the district attorney's office decided a contempt citation was the best form of action.
"While criminal charges are possible in this type of situation, such a charge would result in considerable expense and delays in the court’s ability to address Peters’ conduct," the statement read. "A contempt citation, if proven, permits the judge to more quickly determine what the appropriate remedy or punishment should be for Peters’ actions."
Peters is expected in court at 11 a.m. on March 31 in regards to the contempt citation.
This incident is separate from the ongoing investigation into allegations of official misconduct and tampering with county election equipment involving Peters and other Mesa County election workers that first came to light last year. No arrests have been made in connection to that investigation.