Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, the Republican indicted in a breach of her county’s election system, was sentenced Monday to four months of home detention and 120 hours of community service in a separate misdemeanor obstruction case.
Peters faced up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750 after her conviction in March of obstructing government operations. (The $750 fine was imposed, according to prosecutors, though Peters avoided jail time.)
The implementation of the sentence was delayed pending an appeal from Peters’ legal team, according to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
The obstruction charge stemmed from an encounter with authorities in February 2022 at a bagel shop in Grand Junction where investigators were attempting to seize Peters’ iPad. Police said Peters resisted officers’ attempt to seize the iPad, including by attempting to kick one.
Peters was accused of using the device to make an unauthorized recording of a court proceeding for Belinda Knisley, her former deputy at the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Knisley was facing charges for entering the office after being ordered to stay away.
The obstruction case is separate from Peters’ indictment in connection with a security breach of the Mesa County election system that prosecutors say she orchestrated in an attempt to prove baseless election conspiracies.
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Peters, who ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state last year and recently made a failed bid to be chair of the Colorado GOP, is scheduled to go to trial in that case in the latter portion of this year. The Sentinel reports the trial, which has been delayed several times, is not set for October.
Dan Rubinstein, the Mesa County district attorney, said he asked for Peters to be sentenced to jail time in the obstruction case. Still, he said he was pleased with the penalty.
“I was surprised at how harsh the judge’s sentence was,” said Rubinstein, a Republican. “She will have to wear an ankle monitor for four months and do three weeks of community service to pay back the community for the damage she did to it.”
Rubinstein that the judge overseeing the case, Mesa County Judge Bruce R. Raaum, rejected Peters’ argument that her prosecution was politically motivated.
This is a developing story that will be updated.