Colorado

Jun 6, 2014 11:59 PM by Maddie Garrett

Sheriff's Office Addresses Concerns on Facebook

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is going public, addressing some of the concerns you might have given the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power at the Sheriff's Office.

This statement came in the form of a Facebook post, spurred by questions from the media and likely some questions constituents have themselves.

The Sheriff's Office spokesperson made clear in the post that Sheriff Terry Maketa will continue to get his $111,000 salary, and so Undersheriff Paula Presley, who makes a little more at $118,000.

As News 5 reported Thursday, Presley is now out of the office on sick leave, with potentially 36 weeks of paid time off available to her.

Presley left the office just a few days after the County seized her computer's hard drive, along with Sheriff Maketa's, the Comptroller's and dispatch supervisor Tiffany Huntz's hard drives.

All three women are accused of having an affair with Maketa, and receiving special treatment, pay raises and promotions because of their relationship with him.

The Sheriff's Office also confirmed in the post that Huntz just interviewed for a promotion earlier this week, along with six other internal candidates for the Communications Manager.

As for the Sheriff himself, the spokesperson wrote that he is carrying out his duties and is engaged every day, insisting there has been no loss of service to the public. The statement then goes on to highlight some of the recent successes and progress at the Sheriff's Office.

Maketa has not made any indication he plans to step down, despite the formal request from the Board of El Paso County Commissioners that he resign.

Here is the full statement below, found on the Sheriff's Office Facebook Page:

Given recent events, the Sheriff's Office received the following questions from a local media outlet. The narrative which follows is a response to those questions.

1) What is Paula Presley's annual salary? Is she still being paid in full while on sick leave?

2) Can you confirm Tiffany Huntz interviewed for a promotion? What position?

3) Would like to know how the acting Undersheriff plans to keep operations smooth in the Sheriff's Office during this time.

4) We've been hearing from sources that the current operations at the Sheriff's Office are in "turmoil." In case of an emergency or disaster, how can the citizens of El Paso County be sure that things would run smoothly and that public safety is not at risk?

5) What is Sheriff Maketa's annual salary and is he still being paid in full?

The Sheriff's salary is set by state statute. All class 1 county sheriffs are paid the same salary of $111K.

The Undersheriff's salary is $118K. As is true with ANY employee who is utilizing sick time, they do receive their normal salary. This holds true when using vacation or holiday time as well. A salary change is seen when an employee is out for an extended time AND use all available banks of time and have to apply for short term disability. Once on short term disability, an employee receives only a percentage of their salary. All EPSO policies are available on our website epcsheriff.com under the "about" tab. Policies 304 and 320 are helpful to review.

On June 4, 2014 interviews of six internal candidates were conducted for the position of Communications Manager. Tiffany Huntz was one of the six who applied for the position.

In regards to "turmoil", you will have to provide a specific example. All indications suggest personnel within patrol, CJC, investigations, civil process, wildland fire, dispatch, budget and all other areas of the office are conducting business as usual and doing a great job. There has been no reduction in service delivery whatsoever. Furthermore, our current recruit academy class of 44 students just passed the Colorado POST test and will graduate soon.

The only department within the office which has seen a direct impact from recent events is Information Technologies (IT). Their permissions for access to Sheriff's Office files were turned off by County IT. This has created the need for one additional step to be made by our employees who have an IT request, as those are currently being handled by County IT rather than internally. We are working to have those permissions restored.

Bureau Chief Al Harmon's fulfillment of duties as the acting undersheriff is going smoothly just like any past occasions when he served in that capacity when the undersheriff was on vacation or away for an extended period. He maintains high levels of communication with the sheriff, command staff members as well as mid level managers and first line supervisors.

Furthermore, Sheriff Maketa is carrying out his duties and is engaged every day. As just one example, the sheriff continues to address employees during their in-service training which has been a scheduled practice for many years. He maintains open lines of communication when he is away from the building and responds promptly to questions or items which need his attention.

One sign of a strong organization is how personnel manage the demands of their duties when others are out of the office. Law enforcement agencies are Para-military organizations and personnel are trained and equipped to step up and fill in for others as needed; this holds true for those personnel who are currently "acting" in other positions while members of command staff are away. Our sworn and civilian employees are dedicated to carrying out the mission of the Sheriff's Office and they perform their duties with the utmost professionalism and diligence on a daily basis. They will continue to do so regardless if those duties involve "routine" business or a regional crisis.

Here are just a few examples of some of the great work being accomplished:
• May 16th, members of the Crime Reduction Unit assisted Patrol with a theft case. 28 year old Joseph Grimmig had three felony warrants and was the suspect in theft cases at Big R and Home Depot. Mr. Grimmig was located and arrested by CRU on May 17th near Mazatlan Drive. Further investigation revealed Mr. Grimmig was the suspect in eight additional EPSO theft cases and four CSPD cases, for which he was charged. Mr. Grimmig had two accomplices who were identified and arrested as well.
• On May 18th, SWAT assisted CSPD with the execution of a Search Warrant and Arrest Warrant in the 2700 block of Arlington. The SWAT team was covering all tactical calls for CSPD-TEU. CSPD investigated a report of a Felony Menacing and Shots Fired. Subsequent investigation identified the suspect as Kalie Kerr. CSPD obtained a search warrant for the residence and suspect's vehicle and an arrest Warrant for Ms. Kerr. SWAT executed the warrant, taking Ms. Kerr into custody and detaining three other occupants of the apartment.
• May 23rd, members of the CRU assisted members of the CSPD Investigations Unit with a Search Warrant. Simultaneous search warrants were executed in the 1200 block of Sherwood Lane and 3100 block of Glenarm Road. The Police Department was investigating the theft of high dollar bicycle parts and a ten thousand dollar mountain bike from a commercial shop in their jurisdiction. Numerous items of evidence and stolen parts were recovered at Sherwood Lane. The suspect was identified and arrested by the CSPD.
• May 23rd, the Patrol Division received recognition from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for being the best in the State regarding DUI enforcement during High Visibility Periods in 2013. The Patrol Division arrested 68 impaired drivers during these periods.
• June 1st, the Investigations Division began a kidnapping investigation. The event occurred in the Falcon area. Not only was the suspect identified (Kyle Murphy) and arrested for the crime, he was linked to two additional cases from the area involving indecent exposure.
• Detectives already made two arrests in the Baird homicide from the 1100 block of Main Street. The investigation is continuing and more information being sought.
• Detectives continue to work the suspicious death from Harding Street where the victim was found deceased on a front porch.
• Additional leads have come in regarding the Kara Nichols missing person case. Those leads are being pursued.
• The Julia Netzler missing person case from the Security area remains a focus for investigators.
• An accidental shooting was investigated on June 2nd Gold Camp Road where an adult male was shot in the stomach. A juvenile was arrested for Second Degree Assault and other charges and booked into Spring Creek.
• An investigation involving an at-risk adult is ongoing. The victim was defrauded out of an excess of $100,000 in a Jamaican scam.
• Over the past few weeks, approximately 20 new sexual assault cases have come into the Investigations Division and are being investigated. Many of the cases involve multiple victims.
• The investigation continues into the series of burglaries which occurred in the northern area of El Paso County involving suspects who wore construction worker style safety vests. The case is being pursued as organized crime (COCCA).
• Timothy Kennedy was re-convicted of Staskweicz-Carpenter homicides which occurred in the early 90's. The conviction was handed down on May 13. Detectives played a key role in assisting the District Attorney's Office in putting the case back together for the new trial.
• The Investigations Division is working closely with Adult Protective Services to streamline and create process to ensure compliance with the upcoming mandatory reporting requirement for at-risk adult cases.
• Investigators remain busy concerning the trial into the attempted murder of a Manitou Springs Police Officer.

 

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