A former elections manager who, according to the prosecution, helped compromise the security of voting machines in a Colorado county entered a guilty plea on Wednesday and agreed to testify against her former supervisor.
Sandra Brown is one of two staff members who are charged with assisting Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters in allowing a hard drive copy to be created last year during an update of electoral equipment in an effort to disprove the untrue conspiracies peddled by former President Donald Trump.
Brown, 45, pleaded guilty to official misconduct and trying to influence a public servant, both felonies, but won’t be sentenced until after testifying at Peters’ trial the following year so that her testimony may be taken into account.
Brown told Judge Matthew Barrett, “There were things going on that I should have questioned and I didn’t.
Always with these Conspiracy Theory Republicans. Accusing Others of Crimes They are Guilty. Worker pleads guilty in Colorado election equipment tampering case – CBS News https://t.co/XlZSjof7Bh
— Kellee (@IrishJayhawk66) December 1, 2022
Belinda Knisley, Peters’ chief deputy, also entered a guilty plea in August as part of a bargain that forced her to give evidence against Peters. She was merely found guilty of petty charges, and she was given two years of unsupervised probation right away.
In an earlier attempt to become the Republican candidate for Colorado’s secretary of state, who handles elections, Peters drew national attention by spreading conspiracies concerning voting technology.
Three counts of attempting to influence a public official, criminal impersonation, two counts of conspiring to commit criminal impersonation, one count of identity theft, first-degree official misconduct, duty violation, and failure to cooperate with the secretary of state are among the charges brought against her.
She has denied the accusations and entered a not-guilty plea. She has claimed that they are politically motivated.
Knisley allegedly sought to obtain a security credential for a guy Peters claimed she was hired at the clerk’s office, according to Brown’s arrest affidavit. During the May 2021 election equipment upgrade, Peters allegedly utilized it to permit a third, uninvited individual inside the room to make a copy of the election equipment hard drive.
It claimed that Brown participated in the copying process and planned to mislead the owner of the badge.
District Attorney Dan Rubinstein testified before Judge Matthew Barrett during Brown’s plea hearing that Brown asked the secretary of state’s office for permission for an administrative assistant to attend the update even though he was aware that the person was actually a computer expert who would not have been permitted to attend.
Another individual entered the room and made a copy of the hard disk using that expert’s credentials, he claimed. There are no charges against that person.
Brown was aware that she was fabricating an incident, according to Rubinstein.
When a picture and a video of private voting system credentials were shared on social media and a conservative website, state election officials learned of the security lapse.
Barrett will determine whether or not to accept Brown’s agreement before sentencing, which would let her serve up to 30 days in jail for the misdemeanor.
If she complies with the terms he imposes, such as performing community service during those two years, the felony conviction would be removed after two years. Brown’s guilty pleas can be withdrawn if Barrett rejects the plea agreement.