Local News

People in El Paso County rally to voice opinions about Sheriff Maketa

Dueling rallies held outside sheriff's office

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Emotions were high in front of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Thursday (6/12/14).

Two rallies were held -- One in support of, and the other against, Sheriff Terry Maketa.  The supporters outnumbered the protesters.

"Honestly, there is too much surrounding Mr. Maketa, personally, for him to actually perform his job successfully," Rebecca Duran said.

Duran organized the protest and told KRDO NewsChannel 13 she hoped protesters could urge Maketa to resign.

"It's just disgusting," she said.  "There are charges of ethics violations.  There's EEOC complaints, there's discrimination, there's a hostile work environment, and for Mr. Maketa to say, 'Everything is fine, everything is being done, everything is going just as it should be,' it makes me feel like he feels the general public is unintelligent and doesn't realize what is happening behind the scenes."

On the other side, there were people who defended the embattled sheriff.

"Wait until the investigation is complete before you make your decision about Sheriff Maketa. He is an innocent man," said Anne Marie Gary.  "Everyone has made mistakes. No one is perfect in this world and I would not want to be the person to cast that stone."

Gray said that while Maketa may have admitted to some wrongdoing, none of it was criminal.

Maketas' wife, Vicki, was at the protest supporting her husband. KRDO NewsChannel 13 spoke to her off camera and she said she was frustrated that the media hasn't reported the other side.  She declined an on-camera interview.

Gray said she hoped more people would step forward in support of Maketa.

"He is well-loved in this community," she said.  "I truly believe people are afraid to speak up. I don't want people to be afraid to speak up for Terry. He has stood up for our rights for three terms, and it's our turn to stand up for him."

Duran said she also hoped to garner more support in asking Maketa to resign.  She said she was most concerned about the allegations of a hostile work environment.

"This takes away from the real job and real duties they're supposed to be doing," she said.  "Especially when you have so many good, talented employees quit over and over again, that speaks to there's something going on."

Maketa is accused of having inappropriate relationships with three Sheriff's Office employees, misusing taxpayer dollars and creating a hostile work environment.  The Board of El Paso County Commissioners delivered a unanimous vote of no confidence in Maketa two weeks ago and asked him to resign immediately.  Maketa has said numerous times that he plans to finish out his term.

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