Mar 12, 2010 6:13 PM by James Jarman

Sheriff Maketa under fire and firing back

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa's coming under fire over management decisions made in his office, but Maketa's firing back.

Questions were raised in the Colorado Springs Independent about 3 employees who appear to have received special treatment from Maketa.

One employee posted nude pictures of herself on several internet websites, despite department policy that states employees should "conduct themselves both on and off duty in a manner that reflects most favorably on the Office." The employee faced no reprimand from the Sheriff.

Personnel records show another female employee, hired in 2007, jumped several pay grades in just a couple of years and now earns an annual salary of $95,000. In 2008 and 2009 she went to 2 out of town overnight budget onferences in Breckenridge with Maketa.  Maketa has never gone to those conferences before, although he says he intended to.

The Sheriff says the article's fanning rumors that he's had inappropriate relationships with the women, something he emphatically denies.  In a news conference held by the Sheriff, News First 5 asked him about the rumors and if he's ever had a sexual relationship with any of his subordinates.

"No... no," he said, "I've heard those rumors many times, I don't know where they come from.  I think it's really unfortunate because I do have friends that work here, people I've worked with for 20 years some I've known before I worked here.  I have my own suspicion in an organizational culture, how some of that comes about, but no there is no truth to that (sexual relationships)."

News First 5 also asked Maketa if he'd be willing to take a lie detector test if someone asked him to do so.  The Sheriff responded, " I've never heard of a lie detector test, I've heard of a polygraph test."  He then said would not submit to a polygraph test, unless his accusers did too.

Maketa also says the employees mentioned in the article are now victims, because their reputations are being dragged through the mud.

News First 5 has decided not to identify the employees, until we can independently verify the accusations.

We hope to have more for you as soon as possible.


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