COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The El Paso County sheriff's attorney said her client will seek money from the county for his legal bills, and threatens legal action.
Emails obtained by KRDO NewsChannel 13 document the discussion between El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa's lawyer Pamela Mackey and the El Paso County Attorney's Office.
El Paso County is required by law to provide legal counsel for the sheriff in a lawsuit. The county agreed to pay Mackey $10,000 to defend the sheriff. Formal complaints against him accuse him of creating a hostile work environment and sexual favoritism.
However, El Paso County Attorney Amy Folsom said since no formal lawsuits have been filed against the sheriff at this time, only complaints, the county did not feel it was necessary to provide outside legal counsel for Maketa. Instead, Folsom said Maketa could utilize an attorney already employed by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Charles Greenlee.
In an email, the El Paso County Attorney's Office told Mackey she was no longer needed to represent the sheriff. The conversation also said the county would cover the costs of legal fees that had accrued during that time, but would not foot the legal bill after that point.
On June 27, Mackey emailed the county and mentions a bill for $9,999. She then said, "Sheriff Maketa will seek indemnification and reimbursement for the expenditure of funds necessary to defend himself. If the reimbursement is not forthcoming, Sheriff Maketa will evaluate his legal options to recover the funds to which he is lawfully entitled."
El Paso County commissioners said they will not loose taxpayer dollars in a lawsuit.
"The county attorney assures us that we are not going to be responsible for any legal bills Ms. Mackey may send beyond that $10,000 threshold," said El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey.
"We're not going to pay it. If Sheriff Maketa wants to go out on his own and seek presentation for the allegations against him, that's going to have to be at his expense. The taxpayers of El Paso County should not have to pay for this," said El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office would not comment on the potential lawsuit and said Maketa wasn't available for an interview.
Mackey did not return KRDO NewsChannel 13's request for an interview.