El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who is facing all kinds of accusations of sexual misconduct, ethical violations, and general dumbassery, is refusing calls for his resignation and promising to remain in office through the end of his term (which expires this year). On Monday, the Denver Post joined the Colorado Springs Gazette in calling for Maketa's resignation, and yesterday, El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton requested that Maketa either resign or place himself on unpaid leave. As the Gazette reports, Maketa replied to Littleton's request with a statement declaring he will do nothing of the sort:
Littleton's call for an immediate replacement came as more allegations piled up against the term-limited sheriff – this time in the form of an employment complaint by Cliff Porter, a patrol deputy, alleging the sheriff created a hostile work environment in which women were regarded as "sexual playthings" and rewarded with promotions for sexual favors. Porter's letter also described a series of retaliatory encounters with the sheriff's commanders, naming Undersheriff Paula Presley, Investigations Division commander John San Agustin and Law Enforcement Bureau Chief Al Harmon as among those in league with Maketa.
"Sheriff Maketa has been so successful in avoiding liability for his widely known bad actions that some El Paso County officials have nicknamed Sheriff Maketa 'the Teflon Don' and 'Teflon Terry,'" Porter's attorney, Erin Jensen, alleged in a written complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The May 26 notice to the EEOC – exclusively made available to The Gazette – is a required first step before filing a Civil Rights lawsuit. It followed a May 12 EEOC complaint by three Sheriff's Office commanders, who alleged repeated sexual impropriety, discrimination and violation of the civil rights of those who work in the office.
Since Maketa is term-limited in 2014, El Paso County will soon be getting a new sheriff one way or the other. But this story is quickly becoming much bigger than just one angry, shirtless little man. The longer this saga continues, the more damage Maketa will do to the Republican Party in general in Colorado. A likely Civil Rights lawsuit will turn up the heat on this story significantly, creating a national story that even the most partisan observer can't blame on Democrats.
We doubt that Maketa cares one iota about how his actions may damage the Republican Party, but it will be interesting to see how he handles what will certainly be increasing pressure to vacate his office. Given the many accusations against him, it's hard to believe that the Shirtless Sheriff is concerned about anyone not named Terry Maketa.