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Despite admission, apology, Maketa remains in office

Despite admission, apology, Maketa remains in office

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Despite an admission of wrongdoing and apology to El Paso County Sheriff's Office employees, Sheriff Terry Maketa did not specify whether he planned to resign.

Maketa is accused by multiple Sheriff's Office employees of creating a hostile work environment, misusing taxpayer money and promoting three women to positions they did not earn.

Last week the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners delivered a unanimous vote of "no confidence" in the sheriff, asking Maketa to resign immediately.  But because Maketa is an elected official, commissioners cannot force him to resign. Maketa is term-limited and his time in office expires in January.  Commissioners said they felt that whether Maketa was guilty of the allegations was irrelevant and that they did not want to compromise the trust of Sheriff's Office employees and the community during an independent investigation.

Maketa has not publicly said whether he will resign.  The women accused of having inappropriate relationships with him also remain in office, including Undersheriff Paula Presley, comptroller Dorene Cardarelle and head of dispatch training Tiffany Huntz.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked the Sheriff's Office Monday morning what policies were in place to prevent the accused from touching any evidence that may be used in the independent investigation.  A spokesperson told KRDO to direct the question to county commissioners since they are in charge of the investigation.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners are attending an annual state conference in Keystone and were not available for interviews Monday.  One commissioner explained over the phone that the sheriff is the only one with the authority to place Sheriff's Office employees on leave and that, besides payroll, county commissioners do not have direct oversight on what the sheriff and his staff do.

After KRDO NewsChannel 13 aired the story at 6 p.m., the Sheriff's Office provided more information on policies in place in the following statement:

"Members of County Information Technologies (IT) did obtain "images" of all relevant Sheriff's Office computer hard drives and relevant records have been preserved.  As stated in a previous statement provided by Sheriff Maketa, he is cooperating completely with those tasked with the independent investigation."

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