As a result, the court ordered the 66-year-old Knisley not to enter the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office at a time when local, state and federal criminal investigations are ongoing into possible felony charges for breaching election security, according to her arrest warrant that initially was to be executed last week.
The charges are independent of those criminal investigations that are focused on her, Peters and others by the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
According to her arrest affidavit, Knisley had been placed on administrative leave on Aug. 23 by County Administrator Pete Baier, escorted out of the office and told not to have contact with anyone in the office. She was placed on paid leave pending a county human resources investigation into multiple allegations that she was creating a hostile work environment for office employees and was “engaged in inappropriate, unprofessional conduct in the workplace.”
Two days later, Knisley was found in the office again, despite having her access card and passwords disabled. She had requested assistance from the county’s Information Technology office using Peters’ email address because she was having trouble printing something.
Baier again told her to leave the office “or the local police would be called,” the warrant says.
That incident prompted District Attorney Dan Rubinstein’s office to issue an arrest warrant to help ensure that Knisley stayed away.
“(Rubinstein) has been in contact with defense counsel for Ms. Knisley and has expressed his concern that Ms. Kinsley continues to have contact with employees of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in a manner that is intimidating to them, despite the pending investigation and her leave,” the affidavit says.
“It appeared Knisley was using Peters’ Mesa County work station to access the secure Mesa County computer network while she was in Peters’ office earlier on 8/25/21,” the affidavit adds. “Upon further investigation, Mesa County IT discovered that during the 08/25/21 session logged into Peters credentials, items were sent to the print server, but were not ultimately printed. What those items were was not immediately clear and remains under investigation.”
The affidavit says there is no information that shows that Peters has returned to her office since Aug. 9, when she flew to a voter-fraud conspiracy theory event in South Dakota hosted by Mike Lindell, the owner of My Pillow Inc., where copies of hard drives from the Elections Division where publicly revealed.
A notebook computer from Peters’ office was confiscated by the Human Resources Department, and turned over to Rubinstein’s office.
The second-degree burglary charge is based on allegations that Knisley unlawfully entered a “building or structure with intent to commit a crime against another person or property,” the arrest affidavit says. That’s a class 4 felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The misdemeanor charge is a cyber crime for someone who knowingly accesses a computer or network without authorization. It is a class 2 charge punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Because Peters has been in hiding somewhere else in the nation, Knisley had been left in charge. Knisley remains on paid admin….