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March 13, 2013 1:07 pm MST

Sheriff's "Extortion" Claims Collapse

  • by: Colorado Pols

KRDO-TV puts what may be closure on the big story from the weekend of wild allegations from El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa of "extortion" against county sheriffs testifying against gun safety legislation. Saturday, Maketa was so certain that a possible felony had been committed, and threats had been made by the Democratic Senate leadership regarding (nonexistent) legislation to raise county sheriff salaries, that he was "considering" asking for an investigation by Attorney General John Suthers. After Sheriff Maketa made these allegations on Jeff Crank's radio show, they spread like wildfire throughout the conservative blogosphere and social media.

As KRDO reports today, the whole story is coming apart.

Maketa based the claims on an email he received from Chris Olson, the executive director of the County Sheriffs of Colorado. But now Olson tells TARGET 13 that he never felt threatened by anyone at the capitol.

"There were no threats that were ever intended in that email," said Olson, who has said that Maketa is "on his own" with the claims…

Olson would not reveal his "reliable source at the Capitol" to TARGET 13, but said it was not a legislator or staff member of a legislator.

"It was people I work with at the capitol," said Olson. "And it's just a normal course of business down there where you exchange information, so that's all it was."

How does Sheriff Maketa, now backed into a corner by his own "source," have to say about this?

"I was quite taken aback by Chris Olson claiming that, 'Maketa's on his own,'" Maketa said Tuesday.

He said he now has as many concerns about Olson as he does Senate Democrats…

Uh, okay.

Notwithstanding the breathless game of telephone now underway by conservatives to hype this non-story into the next Teapot Dome scandal, which will of course go on regardless of any factual developments, we appear to be just about done here–as is the reputation of El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.


47 thoughts on “Sheriff’s “Extortion” Claims Collapse

  1. Well, it's just possible that sheriffs acting like lickspittles for extreme right wing groups might undercut the notion that they deserve a big bump in salary.

    Oh, the humanity!

  2. Reality is a lot less exciting:

    "We don't need to be voting for a late bill for a pay increase for elected officials at this point in our economy," Morse said, noting no Republicans signed on as sponsors.

    "The email chain also points out the true reason a salary bill has not been introduced — it lacks the support of Sheriff Maketa's own party," added Doug Schepman, a spokesman from Morse's office.

    Read more: El Paso sheriff releases e-mails he says show gun politics killed pay raises – The Denver Post
    Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:

    1. Davie, how many times do I have to explain the rules?

      When Republicans refuse to raise pay for local sheriffs, they are standing fast for the taxpayers against overpaid, over-reaching bureaucrats and politicians who are displaying unseemly greed in hard economic times.

      When Democrats refuse to raise pay for local sheriffs, they are using left-wing intimidation tactics to bully hard-working public servants to punish them for standing up for the constititional right to own assault weapons, Rifle Propelled Grenades and low-yield nuclear weapons.

      Yeesh, how many times do I have to explain this?angry  

      1. You're right, and see how well it's been working for the GOP in the past few elections?

        It's not so much that Colorado is a Blue state, as it is simply, we're a lot smarter than the average GOP pol.  Unaffiliateds and moderate Republicans really don't want to be seen hanging around with the current crop of elected GOP wackos.

  3. What Voyageur said.  After  putting up with GOP attacks on Dems as tax and spendthrifts and public sector employees as overpaid lazy bums for decades, what a surprise that Dem majority leadership would insist on being joined by GOP sponsors on a proposal to raise Sheriffs' salaries while the GOP is calling for austerity.  What a surprise that GOP legislators would say "no thanks" but GOP pols are so happy to use the whole thing to try to make Dems look like extortionists.  Would somebody who watches O'Reilly let us know if he's jumping on this "scandal" too? Can't wait for ArapG to weigh in, although I could probably write his post for him.

    1. What Voyater said.

      It's going to fun to see how Lord Flatulence tries to argue that there really really was a Democratic conspiracy that needed serious investigation.  Damn those liberals and all their conspiracies.  Or not.

          1. @Aristotle

            Were you referencing this?

            British Performance Evaluations

            The British Military writes EPR's (officer fitness reports). The form used for Royal Navy and Marines fitness reports is the S206. The following are actual excerpts taken from people's "206's"….

            – Since my last report he has reached rock bottom, and has started to dig.

            – His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity.

            – I would not breed from this Officer.

            – This Officer is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't-be.

            – When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

            – He has carried out each and every one of his duties to his entire satisfaction.

            – He would be out of his depth in a car park puddle.

            – Technically sound, but socially impossible.

            – This Officer reminds me very much of a gyroscope – always spinning around at a frantic pace, but not really going anywhere.

            – This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

            – When he joined my ship, this Officer was something of a granny; since then he has aged considerably.

            – This Medical Officer has used my ship to carry his genitals from port to port, and my officers to carry him from bar to bar.

            – She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

            – He has the wisdom of youth, and the energy of old age.

            – This Officer should go far – and the sooner he starts, the better.

            – In my opinion this pilot should not be authorized to fly below 250 feet.

            – This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

            – The only ship I would recommend this man for is citizenship.

            – Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.


        1. Something along the lines of: "You haven't proven that the moon isn't made of green cheese so we should consider the possibility that it is." or "You haven't proven your innocent of that crime so we can make you stand trial because there is a possibility that you aren't".

          This thing didn't pass the smell test from the beginning.  Wing-nut CSP sheriff shooting off his mouth on right-wing radio about some vast Democratic conspiracy to make him a victim because of his couragous stand against popular legislation.  The guy was a bozo from the beginning.  That newspaper in Denver printed an article on it so it will be interesting to see if they print a followup.

          1. When somebody raises a complaint it is at times appropriate to ask for more evidence.  That many on this page immediately concluded there could be none was not appropriate

            1. More often it's just the old trick of smearing by demanding  that someone prove a negative, which of course is impossible to ever do to the satsifaction of the conspiracy minded.

              Let's all prove we weren't born in a foreign country and our birth certificates and announcements aren't forgeries and our grandparents, fake grade school and High School and College classmates and teachers who  say they remember us aren't  all part of a giant conspiracy.  Or that we aren't replicated ET substitutes for humans who have been snatched and sent to another planetary system for study.  If I'm concerned that you are, prove that you're not.  Are you now or have you ever been… fill in the blank. Because if you can't prove your not….

              We all are entitled to suspect whatever but there should be a higher threshold for making public accusations or calls for investigations, and certainly for the media to pass them along, than that somebody thinks it would be just like them lousy fill in the blanks to do fill in the blank.

                1. And I explained, in detail with examples, how that in itself doesn't justify public accusations.  To recap: Do I have the right to accuse you in a public manner of being an ET replicant of the real Elliot Flader just because I suspect that's the case? You'll have a hell of a time proving that to be false.

                  It's a matter of degree, Elliot. Before any public accusation is made that requires the accused to prove a negative, the standard for positive evidence of the accusers' claims ought to be a lot higher than that upon which the Sheriffs' claims are based. 

                  I'm guessing you're not the kind of lawyer who argues cases in court.  At least I hope not, for any client's sake.

            2. The fact that we were proven correct actually does support us, and is evidence that our skepticism was very appropriate.

              What isn't appropriate is saying that a claim needs to be proven false.

              Tell me – as an attorney, do you take this same approach to your cases (treating unsupported claims as facts until proven otherwise)?

              1. Aristotle, never once did I treat the above as facts.  I simply said they were not shown to false. 

                One thing you learn when you do trials as I have is you need to be very careful in concluding and stating that somebody is lying.  Very careful.

                1. Fortunately, this is politics, not a trial, so we can be a bit looser about that. In law, you would probably conduct an investigation and try to find the facts. In politics, you just need to regard a politician's statements critically.

                  This didn't happen in a bubble. There is context allowing us to draw conclusions. Elected Republicans, especially but not exclusively those from El Paso County, have a history of specious if not outright false claims.

                  Maketa made his initial claim eminently dismissable because he was very specific about what the email said without showing it at the same time. He has no excuse for saying "I received an email that says…." without producing it. (If there is some law or procedural rule prohibiting him from just sharing it, he should have kept quiet until securing permission to release it.)

                  Furthermore, the charge was very unlikely to be true. Sure, sometimes hardball politics such as what he alleged takes place. But the Dems have no recent history of such a thing. Producing the email would have helped. Having it released by the other side and showing that it contained no such threat? Not too much of a help.

                  Maketa is now on the record making false claims about the House Democrats. Whether he was lying or just being stupid doesn't matter. The next statement he makes will be regarding in the context of this fact

  4. It's odd how you are all rushing to attack Sheriff Maketa. This kind of wheeling and dealing happens at the capitol and it's not appropriate. You all know it happens, that's why the sheriffs were using the Democrat Pelle to negotiate. I'll bet there's a lot more to this story that we'll learn right after the gun grab is signed into law.

    1. What gun grab?  You can say it all you want, ArapG, but there is no proposed or passed legislation to take away anybody's guns.  Every time you say there is you are lying.  And every time Maketa makes an accusation with no evidence that he's willing to make public,  he deserves to be called out.

        1. Yes. Glock has been manufacturing non-convertible 10 round magazines for the California and New York markets for years. They simply will do the same for Colorado.  The bill allows you to keep the magazines you already have.  If you want to sell the gun in the future, you simply sell it without any magazines which can be comverted.  

            1. The point I believe jadod is making is that although the current form of magazines would have potential legal issues, other compliant forms are available or would be available. 

          1. A brief blog post from a disreputable partisan is "analysis"?

            Of course it is, Ari…. on Bizarro world, where Fladen and Co. dwell. I'm surprised at how slow you are to learn…  smiley

          2. A brief blog post from a disreputable partisan is "analysis"?

            Dude, that doesn't even rise to the level of something with which one can disagree.


            No, what counts as analysis is what the person says.  Do you agree or disagree with his contentions about the bills?

            1. Have you read Pols' diary about this very same "analysis"? ROFL…

              Anyway, you need to learn your internet comebacks. My dismissal is closer to an ad hominem. A "strawman" is when someone makes a false argument on the behalf of the opposition. (Not that this was an ad hominem, either – Caldera is a partisan hack, and that is an objective and fair, if harsh, conclusion, not a subjective slam.)

    2. I know this comment is a bit late, but Arap is once again playing word games. Joe Pelle is a fine Sherrif, but he's a life-long Republican. He only changed his voter registration to Democratic when he decided to run for Sherrif in Boulder County.

      If Arap is as politically connected as he likes to lead us to believe, then he obviously knows tihs fact. There are many ways to lie. This is just one more.

  5. There's probably been some mention of this but not enough: What really concerns me about Maketa's unsubstantiated claims is that he is a law enforcement officer caught in an apparent lie, or at best, misrepresentation of the facts.  Nothing worse. 

    Reminds me of the time some years ago when I was driving along on a rural, not-well-traveled Colorado highway and was stopped by a State Patrolman because I was going a few over the speed limit.  He was coming toward me over a slight rise, then I saw him in my rearview mirror make a quick turnaround and follow me for a mile or so.  During the stop I believe he exaggerated a bit when telling me what I was "clocked" doing, but what floored me was when he said to me, "You continued to exceed the speed limit when I was right behind you."

    I knew that was absolutely untrue, and it was a very frightening feeling to realize not only that I was alone on the highway with this officer of the law making false allegations about the infraction, but also that if he was so comfortable lying to a driver he would probably also lie under oath in court.  I never heard what happened after my letter to his boss and the head of the State Patrol was received . . . .


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