Farewell To Terry Maketa, El Paso County’s “Shirtless Sheriff”


El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette's Stephens Hobbs reports, embattled outgoing El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has submitted his resignation:

Maketa plans to retire Dec. 31, the Sheriff's Office confirmed Thursday, and an interim sheriff will be appointed by county commissioners Tuesday, to take over Jan. 1. It is expected that Sheriff-elect Bill Elder will be chosen to head the agency before his official term begins Jan. 13.

The switch comes two months after Ray Deeny, attorney for the law firm Sherman & Howard, substantiated some claims against Maketa. In a public briefing to El Paso County commissioners Oct. 30, Deeny said Maketa violated policies and procedures of the Sheriff's Office, intimidated employees and gave special treatment to and had inappropriate relationships with three female subordinates. Maketa and Undersheriff Paula Presley also mishandled internal affairs files, among other unacceptable acts, Deeny said.

It was a searing outcome to an investigation that Maketa said in June would "clear up a lot of myths that are going around."

None of his former friends will cop to it now (see what we did there?), but Sheriff Maketa's prospects for an upwardly mobile career in Republican politics were once very bright–even drawing mentions as a possible candidate for the 5th Congressional District, or at the very least, a shoo-in for a seat in the Colorado General Assembly like Maketa's erstwhile best buddy, Sen-elect and outgoing Weld County Sheriff John Cooke–see heroic NRA Magazine cover above.

Today, not only is Maketa exiting stage left, but a perceptible reluctance by (former?) buddy DA Dan May to get on with the felony investigations that resulted in Maketa's slightly resignation could widen the scandal:

District Attorney Dan May has declined to address the status of the investigation or if he has been asked to convene a grand jury and deferred questions to the CBI. A spokeswoman for the CBI declined to comment on the investigation, saying it is ongoing…

"These crimes were reported directly to the District Attorney's Office several months ago and nothing has been done," [attorney Erik Jensen] said. "It's just really concerning when a sheriff commits felonies and nobody's willing to step in and do anything." [Pols emphasis]

Maketa, as our readers will remember well, led the opposition by the majority of Colorado's elected county sheriffs to the state's new gun safety laws in 2013. Maketa in particular made all kinds of incendiary accusations during the legislative debate over these bills, claiming that Democrats had threatened sheriff pay over their opposition (they didn't), and helping legitimize what's widely believed to be significant noncompliance with the new laws by claiming that his office could not/would not (depending on the audience) enforce them. Maketa also controversially attended NRA-sponsored press events in the middle of the devastating Black Forest Fire.

Well folks, without making any inferences about our state's almost exclusively Republican elected sheriffs–most of whom, it should be noted, have not been caught running a salacious personal fiefdom out of their official office–it's time to consider that at least some of the opponents of our state's new gun safety laws just aren't very good at following the law.

Because that appears to be the story of "Shirtless" Sheriff Terry Maketa.

6 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    Good riddance. El Paso County, home of endless corruption, which GOP star will take Maketa's place? Where will you find the candidate to froth on about America, Freedom, the Second Amendment, all the while taking bribes and demanding sexual favors from subordinates?

    Herpin is now history.

    David O Williams is back to Daddy's construction biz.

    Mark Lowderman having won the County Treasurer's office unopposed, is free to keep any and all suspicious donations from land developers benefitting from his friendly assessments.

    (David Jenkins, President of Norwood Developers – $17,500 total right after Lowderman approved the sale of the Banning-Lewis wilderness parcel for development).

    And then there is, of course, Gordon Klingenschmitt, who scoffs at the IRS prohibition against political discourse on his religious youtube channel, who mixes money from his religious and political websites, who still displays photos of himself in his Navy Chaplain's uniform on his political newsletters, although he was court-martialled and forced to resign, who routinely interviews and endorses Tea Party candidates. Will the Klingon have a "clean" Senate webpage? How long until he preaches on the House floor?

    There is, unfortunately, Doug Lamborn, who received 82% of his campaign finance contributions from outside of his district, and 70% from outside the state. Corporations, not the voters of EPCO, funded this partisan and incompetent hack.

    No, El Paso County is not going to run out of sanctimonious and corrupt GOP hypocrites soon.



  2. doremi says:

    I always found it quite reflective of the high standards of ethics in the El Paso County populace that the citizenry got enough signatures and votes to recall Sen. John Morse, where there were no charges of malfeasance (only getting laws passed to protect public safety), but failed to even get enough signatures to oust Maketa, who has a lengthy record of ill-serving the citizens of his county.

  3. BlueCat says:

    According to the magazine cover the gun control measures our legislature passed are unconstitutional. I must have missed all the court rulings. Unless there's been some change and now magazine editors are in charge of determining constitutionality. But wouldn't we need a constitutional amendment for that?  And here I thought I followed this stuff pretty adequately.

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