Tina Peters files complaint against recall official

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters has filed a complaint with the Secretary of State's office, saying Eagle County Treasurer Teak Simonton printed and distributed petitions to a group that wants to recall Peters.

"Ms. Simonton was actually giving recall packets to the recall committee. It was very partisan for her to do that," Peters said.

Simonton, a Democrat, is the Designated Election Official, put in charge by Mesa County Commissioners, to oversee Peter's recall proceedings.

Peters says the act of providing the petitions for the recall effort is a campaign donation, and is illegal.

"It puts her in a position of showing bias. They had been doing it since June 4th, and did it until June 16th. I would like to see those petitions that were issued by the county, and paid for by the mesa county taxpayers to be returned," Peters said.

But Teak Simonton says in her 14 years as a clerk and recorder, printing the recall petitions is just part of the job.

"It was always best practice to provide the petition sections to people, whether they were trying to petition on as a candidate or in the cases where I had recall attempts," Simonton said.

Simonton says she got the nod to print the petitions from the Secretary of State's office, and doesn't see this as a campaign donation at all.

"A necessary approach to any kind of customer who is participating in any kind of election situation," Simonton said.

It cost just over $600 for the petitions to be printed, but the group that organized to recall Tina Peters has said they will pay back the money that came out of taxpayer's pockets.

"The bill has been sent by email and by post to the recall committee," Simonton said.

And Simonton says she was transparent about the petitions the whole time, and Mesa County was aware of her procedure.

"The invoice that I sent to Mesa County mid-month had that included in the details,” Simonton said.

Organizers with the recall effort say they have received the invoice for payment, but have not sent in a check yet.

The group needs more than 12,100 valid signatures to recall peters.

The Secretary of State's office will review the complaint, but there's no timeline on when they will make a ruling.

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