News 5 Investigates

May 21, 2014 8:57 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Tax payers foot bill for three sheriff's commanders on leave

More than a week after three sheriff's commanders were placed on leave, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office refuses to go on-camera and explain what these commanders did wrong.

None have been fired and all three remain on the payroll, funded with your tax dollars.

Commanders Rob King, Mitch Lincoln and Rodney Gehrett are on administrative leave, according to sources.

"We don't know if the commanders have done anything wrong," commissioner Dennis Hisey said. "Administrative leave is one of the tools used when they (the sheriff's office) need to research something."

The sheriff's office won't say what specifically they are looking into, nor would they go on-camera and talk about their administrative leave policies.

There's some speculation the three commanders were placed on leave after filing equal opportunity complaints against Sheriff Maketa. These allegations are being looked into by county commissioners.

There's also a report published in a local newspaper where commanders anonymously said they felt pressured to nominate Sheriff Maketa for a prestigious award, angering the Sheriff.

In a news release last week, the sheriff's office would only acknowledge they are investigating "policy violations" among the commanders. 

No word yet on when or if the commanders will return to work. However, they will remain on the payroll pending the outcome of the investigation.

"We always want to see these things (the investigation) move quickly but more importantly, we want it to be done right," Hisey said.

There's no time limit for how long an employee with the sheriff's office can remain on administrative leave.


» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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