PETOSKEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The pastors of a local church congregation are requesting that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel investigate last year’s break-in in Cross Village Township.
The board of directors of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Petoskey sent a letter to the attorney general’s office last week, citing concerns about “further attacks on our right to fair elections,” citing the Jan. 14, 2021 incident, which only a month ago resulted in a verdict for one Petoskey woman suspected of being involved.
Tera Jackson, 56, was sentenced to three months of probation on one count of disturbing the peace in the 90th District Court last month after entering a no-contest plea. She was originally charged with common law fraud and two counts of assisting and abetting illegal computer access.
According to an affidavit filed in the lawsuit, Jackson was motivated by unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election. According to court filings, Jackson claimed to be a representative of the Election Integrity Commission.
“This attempt to illegally obtain voter data, apparently to bolster divisive and false assertions regarding the validity of the 2020 election,” the Unitarian Church’s board members wrote to the attorney general. “We are concerned that all those involved in gaining unlawful access to voting equipment may have gone unpunished.”
Other officials, including Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman, and Sheriff Pete Wallin, were also received the letter.
According to an affidavit in the case, on Jan. 14, Jackson sent a computer technician, Allan Coveyou, to the community center to “clone” the voting machine’s computer hard drive, based on the mistaken belief that the machine’s data would be purged soon. According to the affidavit, when Coveyou, a buddy, and two township officials arrived, the storage room door had already been unlatched and the machine’s screws had been stripped.
No one else has been detained in connection with the investigation.
Before the discovery of the damaged equipment on Jan. 14, 2021, Jackson was in communication with at least three local individuals about the alleged “audit,” according to records obtained independently from a third-party source.
According to accounts from police interviews done after the incident, Jackson is thought to have called township trustee Howard Wood under the same pretenses, urging him to contact Coveyou to plan the meetup. Wood stated in his interviews that he believed Jackson’s credentials were genuine.
Jackson isn’t thought to have contacted Diane Keller, the current township clerk, who was also one of the four people on the scene when the alleged break-in was found. Wood, on the other hand, contacted her. Keller told law authorities that she had no idea why Wood had asked her to meet with him at the township community center that day until she arrived at the location.
Jackson was also in communication with Priscilla Sweet, a former township clerk who showed up unannounced on the site after the sheriff’s department was summoned. Sweet vacillated many times in police interviews over who notified her about the incident, claiming it was Wood, his wife, or Jackson. According to sources, Sweet and Jackson knew each other before the encounter.