By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – FBI officials in Denver confirmed on Tuesday that they are now part of the investigation into the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office after election equipment passwords from the Republican-dominated western Colorado county were released online by election conspiracy theorists. The goal is to determine whether any federal laws were violated.

Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein is currently conducting a criminal investigation, and the FBI will be involved in the “forensic review and analysis of county voting systems.”

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On Monday the Colorado Secretary of State’s office confirmed that in late May Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters accessed a secure room with election equipment the day photos and copies of hard drives were taken. One person was not authorized to be in the room while equipment and software was being reviewed.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters

(credit: CBS)

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Last week Secretary of State Jena Griswold ordered Peters to provide records and equipment. Peters has not responded to any of the claims.

On Tuesday afternoon, Griswold said the Mesa County Treasurer, Sheila Reiner, will take over for Peters with an advisory committee, amid an investigation into that office.

However, Mesa County Commissioners rejected that plan Tuesday night and passed a resolution to put their own choice into the position — Wayne Williams, a former Colorado Secretary of State.

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Discussions between the county and the state are expected to continue Wednesday.

Jesse Sarles