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Lots of accrued sick time keeps Undersheriff Presley covered as she remains off work

By: Stephen Hobbs stephen.hobbs@gazette.com
June 6, 2014 Updated: June 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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El Paso County Undersheriff Paula Presley remained out of work Friday, three days after leaving her office, but she had the maximum amount of sick leave available to her - about 36 weeks, according to a Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Lt. Jeff Kramer said in an email Friday that Presley "was maxed out on sick time at 1,440 hours" and wrote that her current use of sick leave is being "properly recorded and deducted from the balance." Based on an eight-hour work day, Presley could be out about 36 weeks.

Presley has worked 28 years for the Sheriff's Office according to her biography on the Sheriff's Office website. Because she was hired by the county before Jan. 1, 2003, she "can accrue a maximum of 1,440 hours of sick leave," according to the Sheriff's Office policy and procedural manual. County employees hired after Jan. 1, 2003 are only able to accrue up to 260 hours of sick leave.

Presley left the office Tuesday evening after El Paso County employees seized her computer hard drive, part of an investigation into allegations of misconduct involving Sheriff Terry Maketa and his relationship with three female employees, including Presley.

Reached by phone Thursday Presley said she is taking leave for "personal business." She did not say how long she would be gone. The Sheriff's Office said Thursday she was "out of the office for medical reasons" and "will return when the medical reasons subside."

Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Office announced Friday that it will release copies of a video of Maketa to media outlets, beginning Monday. The video, sent to Sheriff's Office employees last Saturday, shows Maketa apologizing for "not being forthright" and admitting that he "engaged in inappropriate behavior in the past." He also stated he intends to remain in office for the rest of his term, which ends on Jan. 13.

The Maketa video came after complaints were sent May 12 by three commanders to El Paso County commissioners and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing Maketa of sexual impropriety, discrimination, removing almost all oversight of the Sheriff's Office annual budget and a hostile work environment.

Earlier in the week, the Sheriff's Office denied multiple requests from news outlets for the video, stating that it was not a "public record."

The Gazette obtained a cell phone copy of the video from a source at the Sheriff's Office, but there were several indecipherable segments.

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