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.