The El Paso County Sheriff's Office addressed Sheriff Terry Maketa's lack of public comment about recent allegations against him in a statement Friday (8/1/14).
The statement reads as follows:
Americans have historically enjoyed a right to free speech. This was so important that the Framers of the US Constitution enumerated it as the first amendment in the Bill of Rights. Americans take infringement of our rights, especially our right to free speech, very personally. Citizens of the United States and of El Paso County have a right to expect honest and open communication from their elected leaders, especially in times of crisis.
That is why it is disheartening for Sheriff Terry Maketa to be forced to maintain his silence right now. Some local media outlets have been critical of his silence, as if in an attempt to equate that silence with guilt. This could not be further from the truth.
There are active EEOC complaints pending against this office that the Sheriff is legally prohibited from commenting on. Additionally, there is an independent investigation being conducted by the county, that again the Sheriff is mandated to keep silent about. He wants to again reassure the citizens of the county that he is confident in and fully supports the independent investigation into the allegations against him and his office, both legally and in the spirit of the investigation. The Sheriff would like nothing better than to directly address the complaints with the public he serves and chafes at the legal prohibition preventing him from doing so. Those prohibitions are specifically addressed in sections of Title 42 of the United States Code pertaining to EEOC complaints.
As to the reasons Sheriff Maketa personally is not entertaining interview requests at this time, certain local media outlets have in the past demonstrated their bias in reporting by requesting an interview on one topic and then veering into other topics in an attempt to elicit an inflammatory response. The Sheriff will follow the legal guidelines placed upon him, even while others involved are attempting to try the case in the media, rather than let the investigation run its course.
Once again, Sheriff Maketa respectfully asks citizens and members of the media to allow the independent investigation to be completed and rely on the facts it will reveal.
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