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May 29, 2014 9:14 PM by Maddie Garrett

Commissioners: Sheriff's Office Compromised, Ask for Resignation

EL PASO COUNTY -- El Paso County Commissioners entered into a two hour executive session Thursday morning, and the new information they received in that meeting on the investigation played a part in their decision to call for Sheriff Terry Maketa's resignation. The vote of no confidence and request for the Sheriff's resignation was unanimous. It all stems form the investigation and accusations of sexual and possible financial misconduct concerning the Sheriff.

"I am extremely disappointed to have to consider this action," Commissioner Sally Clark said before the vote.

Commissioners expressed disappointment and upset at Thursday's meeting, Board Chair Dennis Hisey said, "It is with a heavy heart" that he voted yes for the resignation.

Commissioners said the reason they are asking the Sheriff to resign is they want to make sure the Sheriff's Office and the nearly 800 employees can continue to work in a professional environment and protect the public.

"We're not saying that somebody is right or wrong, our job is to make sure we provide a functional environment for this community," said Commissioner Darryl Glenn.

Glenn and other Commissioners wanted to make clear, they do not believe it would be an admission of guilt if Sheriff Maketa follows their request and steps down.

"The legal process will totally take care of what is being allegated out there," said Littleton of the accusations.

But a week ago, Commissioners told News 5 they wouldn't take any action until they verified the allegations. Between then and Thursday, something changed to spur them to all call for the Sheriff's resignation.

"Absolutely we've gone through the process, I know I have personally received feedback from people within the department, I have personally reviewed emails," explained Glenn. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there was an inappropriate relationship."

In those emails, details about what appears to be inappropriate relationships with female subordinates, possible financial misuse and even intimidation allegations.

When asked what she thought about seeing all of this on paper, Littleton said, "Disturbing."

While the investigation continues, commissioners want to make sure the Sheriff's Office can continue to protect the public. Commissioners said they believe the leadership and functionality of the office has been compromised.

"The concern is, now because you have pending lawsuits, we are concerned about the functionality of the organization," said Glenn.

There is also concern about the well-being of the employees, and their ability to continue to do their jobs effectively in a safe and professional work environment.

"Some of them have expressed to me that every day that goes by without the resignation of the sheriff is like a slap in the face to them," Littleton said at the meeting.

Despite the unanimous vote, commissioners cannot force Maketa to step down, because he's an elected official. As of Thursday evening, the Sheriff's Office said it is not commenting on the Board of County Commissioners' action. However, earlier in the week, the Sheriff's Office told News 5 Maketa has no intention on resigning before his term is up in January 2015.

 

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