Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Commissioners confirm county computer files seized amid Sheriff Maketa investigation

By Matt Steiner Updated: June 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

El Paso County Commissioners Dennis Hisey and Amy Lathen stressed Thursday morning that the investigation into allegations against Sheriff Terry Maketa remains in its infancy.

At an 8 a.m. press conference, the commissioners said independent investigators with the Mountain States Employer's Council have begun gathering information, determining what questions to ask and whom to interview.

"There are a number of things that need to be determined," said Lathen, the vice-chair of the Board of Commissioners. "The complaints are complicated."

The commissioners launched the investigation in mid-May after Sheriff's Office commanders and a deputy filed the complaints against Maketa with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sexual impropriety, discrimination, budget improprieties and a hostile work environment.

The accusations led the Board of Commissioners to unanimously give the sheriff a vote of no confidence at the May 29 board meeting. The commission also asked Maketa to resign because of the disruption the investigation created within the office.

According to the commissioners, the county has already allowed investigators to obtain seven county hard drives and copied files from several other computers, including machines managed by the county commissioners. Hisey said some files were copied from his computer.

When asked Thursday if obtaining the computers has caused a hiccup in day-to-day operations in the sheriff's office, the commissioners said the only change has been an added step in IT access for staff to obtain certain information. Lathen and Hisey said they have faith in sheriff's office personnel that normal operations will continue to run as usual.

The commissioners also announced this week the hiring of a high-profile defense attorney to represent Sheriff Maketa during the investigation. Pamela Mackey, a Denver lawyer who has represented athletes Kobe Bryant and Patrick Roy, was hired last month. The county is required by law to provide legal counsel to any county employee for acts that occur during the course of employment.

Mackey has verbally agreed to be paid $250 per hour with a cap of $10,000. If more services and money for her services are needed, the commissioners will hold a public meeting for approval.

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