Colorado

Mar 14, 2014 11:35 PM by Eric Ross

Sheriff Terry Maketa responds to Black Forest fire report

Hours after News 5 got our hands on the full 2,051-page independent investigation on the Black Forest Fire, Sheriff Terry Maketa held a press conference criticizing some of the findings.

The summary for the report which cleared Chief Bob Harvey of any wrongdoing was released to the public during a news conference in February.

The full report was turned over to the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office for review before being made public.

At 9:30 a.m., Friday the full report was delivered to News 5. Inside, new information which started yet another dispute involving the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

The report hints that a sheriff's office commander received special treatment during the fire. The investigation states that a tactical fire unit and brush truck were specifically ordered to protect the home of Robert McDonald, a sheriff's office employee.

McDonald's home was saved while nearby homes burned to the ground.

Sheriff Maketa says no special treatment was given, and that the report made harmful, fictitious statements toward one of its employees.

However, the report failed to say who made the allegations. Maketa publicly called out Dave Fisher, one of the investigators behind the report. He challenges Fisher to reveal his sources and check his facts.

Maketa also said the report was flawed and reiterated it was conducted by a public relations firm, which had no business taking on a fire investigation of this magnitude.

In response, Fisher released the following statement to News 5:

"My background may not be a fire investigator, but I have talked with several fire professionals, most of which were interviews from people who were at the fire and most of those were fire agencies. It was not Black Forest I spoke with only, but numerous agencies mentioned in the report."

 

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