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Woodland Park school board recall organizer arrested for attempting to influence a public official

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- A committee member working to recall multiple Woodland Park School board members was arrested Tuesday for allegedly influencing a public official and making a false report for an arrest.

Samantha Peck, 41, was booked into the Teller County Jail and bonded out Wednesday.

According to a press release from the Woodland Park Police Chief Chris Deisler, Peck contacted authorities on July 24 about a possible drunk person about to leave the Safeway store located at 1101 E Hwy. 24.

"The suspected drunk driver/victim, personally known to her as the wife of the Vice President of the Woodland Park RE-2 School District, was attempting to drive away with a young child in her vehicle," the press release stated.

Woodland School district parents have taken the first step to recall two elected school board members - Woodland Park School Board Vice President David Illingworth and Board Member Suzanne Patterson. Two petitions were filed through the Teller County Clerk's Office on Monday accusing both Woodland Park school board members of breaking Colorado Open Meeting laws.

The press release from Woodland Park Police states that officers discovered the vehicle and contacted the person seated inside, however, the officers did not find children, nor did they detect any influence of alcohol or impairment of any kind.

"The victim was released and the case then focused on possible criminal acts committed by Peck based on this call," Deisler said in the release.

Following an investigation from the Woodland Park Police Department, Deisler says their findings did not substantiate any of the claims made by Peck, and a warrant for Peck's arrest was granted based on the probable cause found in the affidavit.

Peck declined to speak, however, the recall organizer did provide a statement to 13 Investigates.

"At this time I can not make an official comment. However, I look forward to clearing my name and sharing the whole truth with our community."

Samantha Peck, Woodland Park School Board Recall Committee Member

The deadline to collect the necessary number of signatures to trigger a recall vote for the upcoming November election cycle was Monday. The Teller County Clerk's Office tells 13 Investigates they are currently reviewing the validity of thousands of signatures.

Peck's first court appearance is scheduled for August 22.  

Article Topic Follows: Investigations
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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.


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