A new El Paso County policy aims to uphold transparency, but the resolution doesn't do much to stop what some call a miscommunication and others call secret accounts.
Commissioners said they were upset at hearing there was an account worth at least $32,000, an account the county treasurer's office didn't know about.
The resolution passed is simply a local version of a state statute that was in effect for years. "This resolution just enforces state statute for you, the board of County Commissioners," said Nicola Sapp, El Paso County budget officer.
Nothing newly written, no specific new check or balance, just a reiteration of the law already in the books. "What we are formalizing in the resolution, already exists within treasurer state statute," Sapp said.
Still, county commissioners say it will improve transparency and the county's credibility. "To draw a line in the sand and say this is the process going forward," said Commission Chair Dennis Hisey. "From this day forward we need to know everything."
The wording states that all bank accounts opened, controlled or held by any El Paso County elected office or department must be coordinated through the treasurer's office.
The chief budget officer says the policy is local support to a state law and one commissioner thought the oversight was happening anyway. "That there were accounts out there unknown to the commissioner," said District 5 Commissioner Peggy Littleton. "It's always been presented to us that we are trustees, and we determine where it goes, how it's allocated, and should have that information."
After hearing of these funds, which the treasurer said had not been reported, Littleton is calling for the sheriff's resignation, again. "To ask our staff to bill the sheriff's office, or in a perfect world the sheriff personally. And one more time ask our sheriff to resign. There's no right way to do the wrong thing" she said in the public meeting Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Terry Maketa was not at the commission meeting.
Requests for comment from EPSO on Tuesday's development have not been returned.