UPDATE: Shifting political winds


Sheriff Maketa was once a popular elected official and made the rounds to schools as a role model. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Sheriff Maketa was once a popular elected official and made the rounds to schools as a role model.
Update: We've heard back from a couple of people mentioned in this blog, so here's the update.

From Amy Folsom:
Mr. Jensen is incorrect. I did not receive a phone call from the Sheriff at the time Ms. Cardarelle was injured while skiing, or anytime thereafter seeking my advice on obfuscating his presence. It follows that I did not so advise him. I also at no time was "offered the position of Undersheriff."

Regarding the request for County Attorney's "recusal." I reiterate that on May 13, 2014 the Board directed that all matters of representation of the County be handled by outside counsel. The law firm of Sherman and Howard was immediately retained for this purpose. Sherman and Howard has further contacted an independent investigator employed by Mountain States Employer's Council. Sherman and Howard, and not the County Attorney's Office, will be directing the independent investigation. By design created before the request for "recusal," the role of the County Attorney's office will be severely limited at best.

As is customary in most independent employment investigations, neither the County Attorney assigned as the point of contact for this matter (usually our employment attorney, Diana May,) nor the BoCC, nor staff will be privy to interviews, statements or conclusions until such time as the investigation is concluded.
Teri Goodall also sent us some information, as follows:
You are correct, I was his agent for his 2010 campaign and did that job willingly. I saw Terry changing in different ways over the last 4-5 years. My watershed moment when Terry was no longer my friend, was when he told me he "had" to endorse John Anderson. I knew Terry disliked Anderson immensely. When I questioned him why he was doing this, he told me he offered Jim Reid a "deal" for his endorsement, but Jim would not commit. Terry said he offered Anderson the deal and Anderson took it. Reliable sources told me that one of the conditions of the deal involved Terry contracting with the Sheriff's Office after his term was up. I believe it is highly unethical to give a conditional political endorsement which allows you to benefit financially in the future. Anderson publicly stated there never was any deal, but those were Terry's words to me. One of them wasn't being truthful. 
On that note, it's odd Anderson would cut a deal with Maketa after Anderson didn't endorse Maketa in the 2010 election, but chose Todd Evans instead. Evans is now Fountain police chief who hired Bill Elder under a contract as deputy chief in Fountain. Elder is the presumed next sheriff, having defeated Reid and Anderson at the county assembly.

Here's what Anderson said four years ago about his endorsement, from our Jan. 28, 2010, story:

"I was prepared to support this candidate [Evans] regardless of an incumbent or not," says Anderson, sheriff from 1995 to 2003. "I clearly believe we need a new direction, and I think Todd can provide that direction because of Todd's background, character and integrity and vision for the future. The organization will benefit from new blood and new ideas. The time was right for a change."

———ORIGINAL POST 4:58 PM, WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014———

As Sheriff Terry Maketa hunkers down to defend himself against an onslaught of criticism, investigations and possible legal action, we all should be reminded that not too awfully long ago, Maketa served as one of the most powerful political leaders in the community.

This fact was underscored on Tuesday when attorney Erin Jensen showed up at the Board of County Commissioners meeting with allegations that Maketa has been tromping on employees' rights for awhile now and that some commissioners chose to turn a blind eye to all that.

In a letter to commissioners, Jensen notes that a complaint from a citizen in 2010 about Maketa's activities was sent to Commissioner Sallie Clark who simply forwarded it to Maketa. Maketa, in turn, fired off a nasty response to the citizen. End of story. Never mind also that issues raised about Maketa's oversight of his department and his dalliances were reported more than four years ago by yours truly.

Jensen also states in his letter that Clark, Commissioner Amy Lathen and County Attorney Amy Folsom have ties to Maketa through friendship, as well as politics.

Now, all these people are in a position to guide, oversee and judge the results of a county investigation into Maketa's department and his actions.

Jensen goes on to request that Clark, Lathen and Folsom recuse themselves from this investigatory process in the interest of avoiding the appearance of bias.

Folsom, for example, Jensen notes, was the recipient of the first phone call Maketa made during a "lover's getaway" ski trip when his purported lover, sheriff's department comptroller Dorene Cardarelle, became injured and needed medical attention.

From Jensen's letter: "Ms. Folsom is said to be the very first person that Sheriff Maketa reached out to in a panicked phone call to assist in getting advice in covering up the situation."

Moreover, Folsom gave Maketa a $200 campaign contribution in 2010.

In addition, Clark, Lathen and Commissioner Peggy Littleton have enjoyed Maketa's endorsement in their runs for public office, with Lathen listing Maketa second on her list of endorsements in 2012, right behind Attorney General John Suthers.

Now, Clark, Lathen and Folsom apparently believe they can be unbiased in the new sheriff's investigation. None told Jensen they shared his concerns or would step aside from the investigative process.

We sent them an e-mail asking several questions, including asking them to describe their relationships with Maketa and whether the appearance of bias might taint the investigation. So far, we've heard only from Lathen, who says this:

I have a working relationship with Sheriff Maketa. I believe he supported me in both of my general elections, and I have supported him as Sheriff in at least two of his election cycles.

I have never traveled with him. I have consumed food with him seated at the table only in conference settings with numerous staff and other elected officials included; i.e. awards banquets or budget conferences - two of those, I believe. I do believe Vicki was there for one of those events. I may have eaten a muffin next to him at a county assembly over the years. I have not associated with him socially outside of political or work events.

I have the same working relationship with Sheriff Maketa as I do with Clerk and Recorder [Wayne] Williams or Treasurer Bob Balink or Commissioners [Darryl] Glenn, [Dennis] Hisey, Littleton or Clark, or any other of our elected officials, several of whom I've supported over the years in various elections and vice versa. Several of those folks have also supported or been supported by Sheriff Maketa.

There is absolutely zero conflict of interest or appearance of bias. In addition, commissioners will not be performing any aspect of any investigation and therefore there is no opportunity for anything to be "tainted" as you put it. 
Here's Jensen's letter:
See related PDF Jensen_letter.pdf
Meantime, here's another about-face of note. In today's Gazette, former undersheriffs Teri Goodall and Larry Kastner wrote a scathing letter to the editor shaming Maketa.

The letter said, in part:
We supported you because we believed you were the best person to lead the sheriff's office. Your hard work and leadership was an inspiration to us, your staff, the entire office and the citizens of El Paso County.

How did you get to where you find yourself today?

Somewhere along this almost 12-year journey you lost sight of the oath you swore to uphold. You arbitrarily exempted yourself from policy. Rules that applied to all personnel no longer applied to you.

Your time as sheriff has run its course.
Not only did both donate money to Maketa's campaigns, but Goodall was the Maketa campaign's registered agent in 2010, after the Independent reported on his questionable activities. In this role, she filed campaign finance reports. She was an insider, in other words.

Politics. Go figure.

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast