By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– A Mesa County court judge removed embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters as the “Designated Election Official” for that county. That move bars her from overseeing this year’s primary and general elections.

Tina Peters (credit: Mesa County)

The court granted Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s request to appoint Brandi Bantz as the Designated Election Official.

Peters, a Republican, is facing a total of 10 charges, including three counts of attempting to influence a public servant, conspiracy to commit attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, identify theft, first-degree official misconduct, violation of duty, and failing to comply with the secretary of state.

Tina Peters (credit: CBS)

She appeared in court in March after an arrest warrant was issued for her arrest following a grand jury indictment stemming from an investigation into allegations of election equipment tampering and official misconduct. Mesa County Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley was also indicted in the same investigation.

“The Court’s decision today bars Peters from further threatening the integrity of Mesa’s elections and ensures Mesa County residents have the secure and accessible elections they deserve,” said Griswold in a statement. “Brandi Bantz has worked in Colorado elections for over 20 years, including as a Director of Elections in Mesa, and I am confident Mesa voters will have great elections this year. As Secretary of State, I will continue to provide the support and oversight needed to ensure the integrity of Colorado’s elections.”

(credit: CBS)

The court’s decision bars Peters from serving as Designated Election Official through the completion of all 2022 election-related activities.

According to the secretary of state’s office: A DEO is the person responsible for running elections for a local government, like a municipality or a county. They make determinations regarding elections issues for their municipality or county.

Peters announced her run for secretary of state earlier this year.

Jennifer McRae