COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office says a committee that is organizing an effort to recall Sheriff Terry Maketa can begin collecting signatures on Saturday.
The group's draft petition was resubmitted and approved on Friday (6/13/14), one day after being rejected for not meeting legal standards.
"We don't want him in office any longer, period," recall organizer Randy Stagner said.
The group must collect 44,387 valid signatures by July 13 to trigger a recall vote. Then, the Clerk and Recorder's Office has 15 days to verify the signatures. If the signatures are valid, the sheriff would have a few days to resign and avoid a recall election. Otherwise, the recall election would take place along with November's election, two months before Maketa's term ends.
The Clerk and Recorder's Office said the process will cost about $20,000, most of which will be to hire temporary staff to verify the signatures on time.
"Since it would be in conjunction with the November ballot, there really isn't going to be a lot of cost associated with it," said Ryan Parsell, public information officer for the Clerk and Recorder's Office. "There will be probably about a $20,000 cost for us to get the signatures verified, which is significant, but not significant if you compare it to a $500,000 cost of holding the election without putting it in conjunction with the November election."
Stagner said organizers are working to cover the cost of the recall.
"There will be no money associated with taxpayers coffers whatsoever, whatsoever," he said. "It will all be privately funded."
Parsell said he would have to look into the legality of that possibility.
"Certainly if it were legal for us to accept that, that would be fine," he said.
Maketa is accused of having inappropriate relationships with three women and promoting them to positions they didn't deserve. He is also accused of creating a hostile work environment.