May 10, 2014 9:03 PM by Zach Thaxton

Maketa to remove two Commanders for 'character assassination'

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday that Sheriff Terry Maketa plans to remove two Commanders from his Command Staff, calling them "cowardly and dishonest", a "cancer," and accusing them of "character assassination."

In a tersely-worded media release posted to the Sheriff's Office web site and social media pages Saturday evening, it was explained that the move follows anonymous interviews the two Commanders gave to The Gazette for a story published May 9 entitled "Leaders felt 'pressured' to give award to Sheriff Terry Maketa."  In the article, one of the Commanders is quoted as saying, "I think it's crap" after Maketa was nominated to receive the prestigious Hundred Club Award at a gala at The Broadmoor later this month.  The award recognizes Sheriff's Office personnel who go above and beyond the traditional call of duty.  The Commanders told The Gazette they felt "pressured" to give the award to Maketa rather than other nominees they felt were more deserving. "This is an award that is supposed to be for line-level guys, not someone behind a desk," one of the Commanders told The Gazette.

In the public response posted Saturday night, the Sheriff's Office called the anonymous comments "character assassination" by two Commanders who "seem to have some kind of score to settle."  Further, "These two Commanders continuously claim fear of losing their jobs or retribution and always remain anonymous."  For their anonymous comments to The Gazette, the Commanders "will be held accountable for these inappropriate actions," the release stated

The media release continues to state, "The Sheriff plans to remove these two Commanders from his Command Staff as they are too cowardly and dishonest to remain in positions of leadership.  They are a cancer and detrimental to our organizational success."

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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