Tina Peters released on bond from Mesa County jail
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters speaks in front of the Mesa County Justice Center in Grand Junction on Jan. 13, 2022. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters was released on bond Thursday evening after spending one night in jail following this week’s grand jury indictment, according to the county sheriff’s office.

District Court Judge Matthew Barrett set a $25,000 cash-only secured bond for Peters during a Thursday afternoon hearing and clarified that it had to be posted in her name. Peters is not allowed to contact most employees in the clerk and recorder’s office, including her deputy clerk Belinda Knisley, and must stay away from the office itself.

“I note that the allegations in this case are very serious, they are allegations that go to the very heart of her employment, and are alleged to have been acts that undermine the democratic process,” Barrett said.

Peters appeared at the virtual hearing from jail.

Barrett also ordered Peters to turn over her passport within 48 hours and barred her from leaving the state. At the start of investigations into the Mesa County election system security breach last summer, Peters left the state with the help of MyPillow CEO and leading election-denial figure Mike Lindell.

Knisley also posted bond, hers set at $10,000, a few hours before Peters.

Peters and Knisley were indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday for a combination of felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an election security breach investigation. Peters faces 10 charges and Knisley faces six. The pair allegedly made copies of secure election system hardware, criminally impersonated an unauthorized person to give them access to a secure software update and facilitated a security breach that led to sensitive information being posted online.

Peters is running for secretary of state, though party officials have called on her to step down in light of the indictment.

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