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UPDATE: Maketa recall campaign ends, groups comes up short of goal

Maketa recall effort ends, will not go to November ballot

Colorado Springs, Colo. - El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa will not face a recall election this November.

After a month of working to get people to sign the petition, the group looking to recall Maketa ended its campaign, failing to get enough signatures to continue this fight.

Recall committee chair, Randy Stagner, said he's not disappointed. His group came close to taking this recall campaign to the next step.

"Are we proud? Yes. Do we have any regrets? No," Stagner said.

Stagner and his colleagues collected more than the required 44,387 signatures from registered voters to put the recall on the ballot, but they still didn't feel confident in their math.

The committee says it wanted 50,000 signatures to move this recall effort forward. It recorded 48,000 and change, not enough to offset the number of potential invalid signatures through the verification process. According to El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Spokesman Ryan Parsell, typically anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of recall petition signatures aren't valid.

Through the last 30 days, Stagner believes the citizens of El Paso County sent Sheriff Maketa a loud, clear message.

"What we heard from the voters is that they have no confidence in the leadership of El Paso County Sheriff's Office," he said.

The county estimates the verification process would have cost the taxpayers upwards of $20,000.

"Why burden the taxpayer up to $20,000 when we know it's, it's not going to succeed?," Stagner said

Stagner leaves this fight with his head held high.

"The citizens are very passionate about their leaders," the retired firefighter said. "They want to hold them accountable."

Stagner called for Maketa's resignation.

Bill Elder is running unopposed for El Paso County Sheriff in November's election. He said Sunday he is surprised that group was able to collect so many signatures. El Paso County commissioners would likely ask Elder to step in if Maketa resigned or was recalled.

Elder said he is glad the recall effort is not moving forward because of the burden it would put on taxpayers.

El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton said the decision was fiscally responsible, but still sends a clear message to Maketa. Littleton was the first commissioner to call for Maketa's resignation.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 contacted the sheriff's office today for comment, but we did not hear back.

An elected representative in El Paso County cannot be recalled from his or her position with six months left to go in the term. Sheriff Maketa begins his last six months in his position Sunday.

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