MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Belinda Knisley, who worked with embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, has made a plea agreement to testify against Peters in a court of law, the district attorney’s office said.
The former Mesa County deputy clerk’s agreement also includes testimony against Sandra Brown and any other person involved in the ongoing election fraud case. She was interviewed on June 8 but was not offered a plea agreement prior to being questioned.
“In the interview, the Defendant explained that beginning April in 2021 and into May 2021 she was aware of and participated in a scheme with Tina Peters and other identified people. to deceive public servants from both the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and Mesa County. This scheme, which was significantly directed by Tina Peters, ultimately permitted an unauthorized individual to gain access to secure areas inside the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office …,” the plea agreement said.
Knisley also told interviewers that she asked Peters to record proceedings in her burglary case and then Peters lied to a judge saying she did not, the agreement said.
As part of the plea agreement, Knisley will be allowed to plead guilty to trespassing, first-degree official misconduct, and violation of duty. All other charges she was facing will be dismissed. She was issued two years of unsupervised probation, 150 hours of public service and she’s barred from working for elections in any facet.
How Knisley was involved with the election fraud
Following the initial investigation launched at the beginning of August last year, Knisley was suspended from her job on Aug. 23 and told to stay away from the workplace. County officials found her on the premises two days later, apparently trying to print something from Peters’ computer. She was facing second-degree burglary and cybercrime charges.
According to a court document, Knisley’s involvement in the case against Tina Peters was that she worked to get a security badge for a man Peters said she was hiring in the clerk’s office. Peters then used it to allow another, unauthorized person inside the room to make a copy of the election equipment hard drive, it said.
In that incident, Knisley was charged with three counts of attempting to influence a public servant, one count of conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation, violation of duty and failing to comply with the secretary of state.
The matter first came to Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s attention when a secure specific password for Mesa County election systems was posted online in August 2021.