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Peters, a Republican, had appealed a district court’s ruling prohibiting her and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisley from overseeing the election and subsequent processes after the election, citing a “breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.” The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, in August.
The clerk’s attorney, Scott Gessler, a former Republican secretary of state, argued in his court filing Monday that the Mesa County District Court does not have the authority to remove or replace Peters or Knisley.
“If allowed to stand, the district court ruling will fundamentally alter election administration and application of Colorado’s election laws,” he wrote in the appeal. “Colorado law unambiguously mandates that a county clerk and recorder fulfill the duties as the county (designated election official), and a court may not override this statutory mandate.”
But on Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case, as first reported by The Colorado Sun.
“With the Supreme Court’s decision, Clerk Peters remains barred from any involvement in this election,” Griswold said in a statement. “As Secretary of State, I will always work to provide accessible and secure elections for all eligible Coloradans.”
Peters and her team did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.
Former Republican Secretary of State Wayne Williams will served as the designated election official for Mesa County this year and work with Republican Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner to oversee the election.
The lawsuit stemmed from Peters allegedly allowing a non-employee access to a secure elections area to copy a hard drive. Passwords for Dominion Voting Systems equipment — which have since been replaced — were then posted online as were images of hardware.
Although Gessler does not dispute that Peters allowed someone access, he said it was before the secretary of state’s office rules did not allow for it and that it was partly to commission a report on potentially deleted data. But he wrote that Peters did not authorize the release of the information online.
District Court Judge Valerie J. Robinson, however, wrote in her ruling that the lawsuit “met the burden of showing that Peters and Knisley have committed a breach and neglect of duty and other wrongful acts.” She said that Peters didn’t follow rules established by the secretary of state for allowing a non-employee access to the secure area and that Knisley aided in a coverup by asking for the cameras to be disabled.
Local, state and federal investigations into Peters’ actions are ongoing. Knisley is facing charges related to allegations she used Peters’ work station and computer after she was suspended in August for another issue.
Peters, who has spread unsubstantiated claims about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, traveled out of state and did not appear publicly for more than a month during the ongoing investigations and lawsuit. On Aug. 10, she attended a conference hosted by Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and an election conspiracy theorist, in South Dakota.