Terry Maketa recall, El Paso County, Colorado (2014)
An effort to recall Terry Maketa from his position as sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado was officially launched on Friday, June 13, 2014. The petition to recall Maketa was submitted by Randy Stagner, Francis O. McCargar - a former lieutenant at the sheriff's office who oversaw Maketa when he was a deputy - and Jimmy McCargar. Maketa has been accused of mismanaging office funds, creating a hostile work environment and having extramarital affairs with coworkers, whom he then promoted. An external investigation into the allegations is underway. At the time the recall campaign was launched, Maketa had approximately seven months left to serve as sheriff before he is termed out in January 2015.
Maketa allegedly had sexual relationships with three sheriff office employees and then promoted them to higher positions. Comptroller Dorene Cardarelle began working at the office in February 2007. Her pay went from $51,396 annually to her current salary of $101,995. Inappropriate emails between the two have surfaced. Dispatch trainer Tiffany Huntz's salary increased from $35,976 when she was hired in 2004 to $64,791, despite the fact that she was the subject of at least three Internal Affairs investigations, which Maketa allegedly helped coach her through.
Undersheriff Paula Presley has been promoted three times since Maketa became sheriff and has seen her pay rise from $76,244 in 2002 to its current salary of $114,755. Three male commanders, who were subsequently placed on leave by Maketa, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that the sheriff "'grants considerable favorable treatment to female subordinates with whom he has sexual relations,' including promotions, pay raises and leave, while treating those who rebuff his advances with disfavor."
On May 29, 2014, the county commission unanimously voted to request Maketa resign amidst the allegations. However, the commission does not have the power to force Maketa to resign, and he has stated that he has no intention of doing so.
Maketa has apologized for improprieties but says he won't resign. When asked by a Fox 31 Denver reporter about his potential resignation, Maketa said, "As I’ve said I am staying here until this investigation is completed. There’s a lot of facts that are going to come out after this independent investigation is completed and I think the community deserves to hear those facts before any more judgments, executions or determinations of guilt are made." Though she admitted he "made a terrible mistake during a rough patch in our marriage 5 years ago," Maketa's wife, Vicki, has stood by him and joined supporters of the sheriff outside his office during a rally.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Colorado
Supporters of the recall must collect at least 44,387 valid signatures by July 12, 2014 in order to trigger a recall election. As of June 24, 2014, supporters of the recall reported collecting approximately 17,000 signatures.
- Recall campaigns in Colorado
- Sheriff recalls
- Political recall efforts, 2014
- Political recall efforts, 2013
- The Denver Post, "Group gains petition approval to recall Sheriff Terry Maketa," June 13, 2014
- Colorado Springs Independent, "Sheriff Maketa is under investigation, but all of us are exposed," June 11, 2014
- 11 KKTV, "Commissioners Vote Unanimously To Ask El Paso County Sheriff To Resign," May 30, 2014
- 9 News, "Petitions seek recall of embattled Sheriff Maketa," June 17, 2014
- Fox 31 Denver, "Sheriff Maketa says Black Forest Fire investigation almost finished," June 10, 2014
- CBS Denver, "Former Maketa Undersheriff Joins Effort For Him To Resign," June 24, 2014
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