Once wildly popular, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has seen his fortunes fall as more allegations of sexual relationships with subordinates and favoritism — first reported
in the Colorado Springs Independent
four years ago — surface. But he's likely not the only politician who will suffer from the scandal.
Maketa was cozy with many local politicians, most of whom are doing whatever they can to distance themselves from him in the wake of the scandal.
Take County Commissioner Peggy Littleton. While the entire El Paso County Board of County Commissioners has expressed their desire for Sheriff Terry Maketa to resign, none did so as quickly as Littleton. Littleton, who is running for reelection in November, surprised her colleagues by coming out against Maketa before the board had discussed the matter.
She's since given multiple news interviews criticizing the sheriff.
But that hasn't been enough to discourage Littleton's Democratic opponent, Jariah Walker, from seizing the awkward moment. Walker released a scathing email this morning saying Littleton's denunciation of Maketa is "too little, too late."
One has to wonder if that tagline could soon appear in Walker's political advertising.
Read on for the full release:
This has been a difficult time for El Paso County. What we need right now from our elected representatives is thoughtful leadership, and not political grandstanding.
On Thursday of last week, the BOCC voted unanimously to ask for Sheriff Terry Maketa's resignation, and they did not take this step lightly.
Four of the five members of the BOCC needed time to investigate the recently published allegations against the sheriff, in order to make a calm, rational decision in the best interests of their constituents.
We need leaders who will take these necessary steps to protect our county without disregarding due process.
For anyone who believes in due process, it was shocking to see Commissioner Peggy Littleton call for Maketa's resignation prior to a proper review.
In one of her many interviews, Littleton told a Denver TV station that she had been "the recipient of a couple of letters that were rather inflated and demeaning and angry and bullying in nature from the sheriff."
“If Commissioner Littleton felt bullied by the sheriff, then why did she not take steps before now?” asks Jariah Walker, candidate for county commissioner in District 5. “How did she think his employees felt working under him all of these years? Her actions are too little, too late.”
What is needed in District 5 is a county commissioner who will do the right thing when nobody is looking — not a politician who seizes the spotlight.
"As a moderate, I don't have to play the games that some of our elected officials think they need to play," says Walker. "There is no line for me to toe. I am a business owner with deep roots in El Paso County. My sole responsibility will be to safeguard our community's interests."