El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa refuses to put himself on unpaid administrative leave or resign

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has refused to put himself on unpaid administrative leave or resign.

County Commissioner Peggy Littleton asked Maketa to step down Tuesday morning. She said she was speaking for herself and not the board.

Maketa is facing accusations of sex with subordinates, abusive treatment of employees and dismantling oversight of the office budget.

The Colorado Springs Gazette first reported that Maketa allegedly has had sexual relationships with three female subordinates for years, traveling with them using public funds, promoting them to top jobs despite objections from commanders and threatening anyone he suspected of mentioning the relationships.

The Gazette said it obtained more than 500 emails and text messages dating to 2008 between Maketa and Cardarelle and Huntz. The newspaper said it also had a "selfie" of Maketa taken in a bathroom.

The sheriff's office issued a statement Tuesday that said Maketa will not step down:

Many inquiries have been made to the Sheriff's Office asking for public comment from Sheriff Terry Maketa concerning statements made by one of the County Commissioners at this morning's Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) meeting.

As each of you know, there is pending litigation and there are ongoing investigations involving El Paso County, the Sheriff's Office and individual deputies.

Sheriff Terry Maketa will not be commenting on the litigation, the allegations or the investigations. Sheriff Maketa is committed to a fair and impartial investigation based on facts and law and asks all responsible parties to respect the legal process.

Sheriff Maketa was duly elected by the citizens of El Paso County and has seven months remaining in his term. His intention is to complete the term to which he has been elected.

All members of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, both sworn and civilian are committed to serving and protecting the citizens of this county. All will continue to perform their duties and serve with the utmost professionalism and level of care the citizens of El Paso County deserve.

The Sheriff's Office has a full-time work force of 786 employees and an annual operating budget of $63 million.

Maketa has also been in the news in the past two years for his opposition to new gun control laws in Colorado and his criticism of the Black Forest Fire Department chief's handling of the Black Forest wildfire.

Maketa was elected sheriff of El Paso County in 2002. He has since been re-elected twice. Due to term limits, he will be replaced in the November election.

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