If you haven’t had time yet to read the entire 18-page indictment of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (pdf) filed March 8 that led to her arrest on seven felonies and three misdemeanors, probably the newest and most interesting additional information in it is about the infamous “Gerald Wood,” who we all thought was the unauthorized person Peters smuggled into the secure room where the election equipment is kept.
Turns out he wasn’t.
Here’s what went down:
According to the indictment, Peters and her Deputy Clerk, Belinda Knisely, used Gerald Wood’s name and Social Security number to get a background check done and get the County to create an employee ID badge in his name. They sent Wood to obtain the badge and sent him to the County’s Information Technology (IT) Department to obtain the two-factor authentication info (passwords) needed to access the secure voting equipment. They then told Wood to return his ID badge to Knisely. Then, Peters and Knisely used the fake “Gerald Wood” ID to portray yet another person, who is not identified in the indictment, as the supposedly background-checked “temporary County IT employee” that they illicitly allowed into the secure area to observe the Trusted Build procedure performed on Mesa County’s voting equipment in May. The actual Gerald Wood provided law enforcement with alibis establishing his whereabouts on the day and time the County ID card in his name was used to let someone else access the voting equipment on Sunday, May 23. Law enforcement officials verified Wood’s alibis, verifying he was not actually there.
The indictment says Peters and Knisely used Mr. Wood’s identity to “further their criminal scheme,” and in so doing “subjected Mr. Wood to various forms of liability and criminal exposure.”
This appears to be the reason for the charges of identity theft, criminal impersonation and conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation for both women.