News 5 Investigates

May 21, 2014 10:13 PM by Eric Ross

Sheriff’s office keeps quiet over administrative leave policies and salaries

A week and a half after three sheriff's commanders were placed on administrative leave, News 5 wants to know how much of your tax dollars are being spent to keep them on the payroll, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

News 5 requested salary information for Commanders Mitch Lincoln, Rodney Gehrett, and Rob King. However, the sheriff's office has not provided News 5 with that information.
All salaries of government employees are public knowledge, but El Paso County does not post this information on its web site, according to the County's public information office.

News 5 will be requesting salary information under the Colorado Open Records Act and we'll be sure to let you know when that request is fulfilled.

Administrative leave:
We asked Sgt. Greg White, an El Paso County Sheriff's Office public information officer for a sit-down interview discussing administrative leave policies in general. White declined our request for an interview, but did allow us to send him a list of questions we wanted answered. We have yet to receive those answers.

Sheriff Maketa has not commented publicly about his decision to place the commanders on leave since releasing a statement last week, calling the commanders cowardly and a cancer to the sheriff's office.

Background information:

There's speculation the three commanders were placed on paid leave after filing equal opportunity complaints against Sheriff Terry Maketa in addition to a newspaper article in which two commanders said they felt pressured to nominate Maketa for a special award.

The sheriff's office won't talk specifics about this open investigation, but did say all three commanders are on leave for "policy violations."

The following is a statement released by Amy Folsom, an attorney for the County:

"County Administration and the County Attorney's Office have been notified by written communications signed by several employees of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office that a complaint has been filed with the EEOC against the Sheriff's Office. The Board of County Commissioners will receive legal advice on specific questions from the County Attorney during an executive session following their regular Board meeting tomorrow. Because this could be a matter for possible future litigation, and because it involves potential personnel matters, no further specifics or additional comments can be released at this time."



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