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Election-denying former Colorado clerk avoids jail time

A former Colorado clerk avoided jail time for a misdemeanor obstruction conviction. The ex-clerk was accused of illegally accessing her election system.

A former Colorado county clerk accused of illegally accessing her election system avoided jail time for a misdemeanor obstruction conviction in another case on Monday.

County Judge Bruce Raaum sentenced Tina Peters to 120 hours of community service and four months of home detention with an ankle monitor for trying to prevent authorities from taking an iPad she allegedly used to video a court hearing. However, the sentence was immediately put on hold while Peters appeals it, The Daily Sentinel reported.

Peters, who has become a prominent national figure in the election conspiracy movement, had faced up to six months in jail. Peters' attorney, Harvey Steinberg, argued that she should not go to jail since it was her first conviction and because she was exercising her rights to question government.

District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said Peters, as an elected official, should be held to a higher standard.

Raaum agreed that a higher standard should apply to Peters and that she had shown she had little respect for the law, but he did not think time behind bars was warranted.

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Last month, a jury found Peters guilty of obstructing government operations but acquitted her of obstructing a peace officer.

Peters was briefly detained on Feb. 8, 2022, at a cafe where she was meeting with other people when investigators from the district attorney’s office showed up with a warrant to seize the iPad. Peters is accused of using the iPad to record a court hearing for a former subordinate, Belinda Knisely, who was also charged in the election system case.

Peters gave the iPad to another person, and police were called. Peters got between officers and the man to try to prevent them from taking the iPad. Peters was handcuffed and taken outside without warning, which was captured on police body camera video

Peters faces seven felony charges for allegedly allowing a copy of a hard drive to be made during an update of election equipment in 2021 in search of proof of the false conspiracy theories promoted by former President Donald Trump. She has pleaded not guilty and contends the charges are politically motivated.

Knisely and another former clerk's office employee, Sandra Brown, have both pleaded guilty under deals that require them to testify against Peters. That trial is scheduled for August.

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