Harsh words coming from El Paso County Commissioners toward Sheriff Terry Maketa.
They say he crossed a line when he released personal information about a deputy.
Maketa released the personal information of a whiestleblower within the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and commissioners are livid.
“We are asking for a criminal investigation to be opened,” said Amy Lathen, El Paso County Commissioner. “And to that end, we will take the necessary steps to protect the county.”
Lathen has known Terry Maketa for over a decade. She credits the sheriff with advancements to the county jail but she’s not hodling back her criticism.
“I was pretty shocked. Very, very upset. We were definitely very frustrated that the sheriff would have acted unilaterally with such a press release,” she said.
The sheriff’s office released a deputy’s internal affairs report, in response to an article posted in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The article cited a source within the sheriff’s office, but didn’t name her.
Hours later, the sheriff’s office named her and released her internal affairs report to the media.
"I think we've seen some actions that were not coordinated through our HR and that we do not support,” Lathen said.
It’s a violation of H-R policy, and perhaps illegal.
A Denver attorney we spoke with says at the surface, Maketa’s release doesn’t appear to be legal.
He cited a Supreme Court case, which gives privacy protection to an employee’s personnell file, indlucing the internal affairs report.
While the sheriff released the internal affairs report of that deputy who brought misconduct accusations to the public, the office still hasn’t returned our requests for four other I.A. records. A request submitted ten days ago.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department released a statement, in part, “Sheriff Maketa has asked the
Commissioner to specify where in the media release the Sheriff was
expressing “opinions” versus facts.”
The press release and internal affairs report that caused this latest controversy have since been removed from the El Paso County Sheriff's website.