COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sheriff Terry Maketa faced the El Paso County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday … three weeks after the commissioners urged him to resign.
Maketa faces allegations of sex with subordinates, mistreatment of employees, and removing budget oversight. But on Tuesday he stood up and reiterated his plans to stay in office through the end of his term. He also answered questions about how the department continues to operate amidst the scandal.
More than an hour after the board of commissioners started their meeting, Sheriff Maketa walked in with his wife by his side. Maketa then promptly began explaining why he continues to remain on the job despite accusations of affairs and a likely lawsuit.
“It doesn`t take facts to file a lawsuit,” Maketa said. “I think when this independent investigation is completed it`s going to clear up a lot of myths that are going around.”
Last month three commanders filed a formal complaint alleging Maketa mistreated employees, and had affairs with subordinates, but he said complaints and litigation are part of the job.
“Employees, in the past, have filed suits against the sheriff`s office, against me in my official capacity. I don`t take it personal,” Maketa said.
Maketa didn’t focus on the personal accusations surrounding him. Instead, he answered questions sent to him by commissioners about the integrity of the department budget and how his office continues to run despite the loss of three commanders and an undersheriff.
He said he’s followed the budget process diligently for 12 years and he said the replacement commanders are going very well in their roles.
“There is no breakdown in any communication, any desire for resources,” Maketa said. “Every week I`m seeing our deputies perform at phenomenal levels.’
Since Maketa won’t step down, a group of residents, including one of his former supervisors, is now collecting signatures in hopes of having him recalled.
“This situation would have called for termination,” said Francis McCargar. “I don’t know what happened to that policy.”
But not everyone wants to see him go, several people showed up to the meeting Tuesday with t-shirts and signs backing the sheriff.
“I support him, I believe in him and until justice has been proven,” said Ruth Osbourn. “I think people should lay off of him.”
The group looking to recall sheriff Maketa needs more than 44,000 signatures by July 12 to get on the November ballot. As of Monday they had about 1,700. Either way his term as sheriff will be up in January.