The latest effort by District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and the people of Mesa County to hold Republican Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters accountable for her actions fell flat on Friday, 7/15, as the judge gave Tina the benefit of the doubt yet again and quashed a warrant issued for her arrest after she left the state without permission to attend a conference of election-denier sheriffs in Las Vegas July 12.
Judge Matthew D. Barrett was incredulous at claims made by Tina’s highly-paid Denver attorney, Harvey Steinberg, that he didn’t know about or inform Tina of a no-travel order the Court had issued on July 11. Barrett said the idea that neither Steinberg nor her other two defense attorneys knew about the order, and that all three of them had failed to tell Tina about it, was “incredible,” “unfathomable” and “remarkable.” Despite this, the judge still gave Tina the benefit of the doubt and quashed her arrest warrant.
Still free to travel out of state
Tina emerged from the hearing still a free woman who can travel out of state almost at will. The only change is that now she has to submit a formal motion to the Court asking to travel at least 5 days before the date she wants to leave. Prior to the change, she had to just give the Court details about her whereabouts a few days before she left, so the restriction is just a little tighter now. The more lax policy applied while she was a candidate for Secretary of State. Now that she’s lost the primary, she’s no longer a candidate.
Some interesting other information about Tina that emerged during the hearing:
- Tina is currently on paid-leave status, even though the Mesa County Government 2021 Benefits Guide (pdf) does not list or define a “paid leave” status.
- Tina has private jets at her disposal. She just calls to book a plane a few hours in advance. The smallest chartered jets out of Grand Junction cost $1,500- $2,250/hour not including taxes, crew, airport and other related fees. It is unknown who owns or operates the planes at her disposal.
- Tina now has at least four attorneys: Denver-based attorney Harvey Steinberg, Aurora-based conservative radio host and attorney Randy Corporon, attorney and rock and roll singer Jason Jovanovich of Rifle/Glenwood Springs, who himself is ethically and legally challenged, and ethically-challenged former Secretary of State Scott Gessler who is handling her three state ethics complaints. She may also have a fifth lawyer defending her in her ex-husband’s lawsuit (pdf) against her for her allegedly stealing his house after they were divorced.
- Mesa County D.A. Dan Rubinstein is concerned that deep-pocketed benefactors are picking up the legal tab not just for Tina, but for her accomplices’ defense too, in exchange for them not cooperating with law enforcement or making any decisions on their own about their defense. Rubinstein told the judge that after former election manager Sandra Brown was arrested, Tina visited Brown in jail, pulled out her cell phone, made a phone call, spoke to someone briefly and then handed the phone to Brown. Rubinstein told the judge he was concerned that “this is being set up as a we-are-going-to-fund-your-defense-and-protect-you in exchange for you not making your own decisions, not cooperating, things like that.” Rubinstein requested a no-contact order between Peters and Brown, but the Court refused the request.
By the way, Tina’s attorney Randy Corporon himself has a reputation for spreading conspiracy theories. He’s represented Lauren Boebert and Shooter’s Grill and is currently representing John Eastman, the lawyer who advised Trump on how to overthrow the election and stay in power.