Meet the Colorado man whose identity was allegedly stolen by Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters
Gerald Wood thought it was odd when after meeting with Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters he was told to hand over the county ID badge he had just been issued to be a contractor for her office.
It was May 2021 and Wood, a private sector software engineer who goes by “Jerry,” had recently been asked by Peters to go through a background check so that he could do occasional information technology work. Peters, who Wood had met through a group in Mesa County investigating the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, said she needed help with some tasks that the county’s normal IT staff couldn’t handle.
Given his professional background, which includes work in data security, Wood thought it was “weird” that Peters’ office wanted to keep the ID. That wasn’t a best practice, he thought, planning to make sure Peters knew that if he was ever asked to do a security analysis for her.
Wood, 56, never got another chance to use that badge. Nor did he ever do any work for the Mesa County Clerk’s Office. “I’ve never even seen the election equipment,” he said.
It wasn’t until authorities searched Wood’s Mesa County home in August 2021 that he started to find out what happened to his access badge and how he was at the center of a controversy soon to be the focus of national headlines. Investigators say Peters let another man assume Wood’s identity to attend a sensitive election system software update completed by Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, which called the incident a security breach.
Peters and her deputy, Belinda Knisley, were indicted in the breach, including for allegedly stealing Wood’s identity.
Read more from Jessie Paul via The Colorado Sun.
The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies that matter in Colorado. Read more, sign up for free newsletters and subscribe at coloradosun.com.