Incoming El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, who takes office Jan. 13, isn't wasting any time filling his top leadership posts.
Elder, who has had disagreements with outgoing Sheriff Terry Maketa, will be making changes. In addition to loyalty issues, Elder also likely considered accusations that Maketa behaved improperly with three women in the office: Undersheriff Paula Presley, Comptroller Dorene Cardarelle and Dispatch Trainer Tiffany Huntz.
Elder doesn't go into too much detail about how he reached his decisions, but he will say this: "The undersheriff [Presley] won't be a part of my staff." Presley will be replaced by former Bureau Chief Joe Breister, who retired recently.
It's worth noting that Elder's leadership team does not include a single woman. His three bureau chiefs will include recently retired commander Brad Shannon (law enforcement); currently on-leave Detention Security Division Commander Mitch Lincoln (detentions); and Support Operations Division Commander Bob McDonald.
There will be six commanders, down from eight, including current Detentions Commander Clif Northam (to be assigned to patrol); Richard Hatch (to be assigned to investigations), a former sheriff's office sergeant who works for the Colorado Department of Corrections; Tom DeLuca (to be assigned to detentions), a retired sheriff's office commander; on-leave Patrol Division Commander Rob King (to be assigned to detentions); Commander of the Emergency Services Division John Padgett, who will stay in his current position; and on-leave Administrative Services Division Commander Rodney Gehrett, who will stay in his current position. Commanders will be allowed to build their own staffs.
A reorganization of the office is expected, and will likely result in an additional high-level position. Elder expects to save $15,000 to $17,000 in salaries under the new setup.
Elder has announced some of the staff he will be letting go. Attorney Charles Greenlee will be replaced by Lisa Kirkman, an assigned attorney from the county attorney's office, a move that Elder says will save money. And Elder says that Bureau Chief Al Harmon plans to retire before Elder takes office.
Meanwhile, Larry Borland (who worked for the sheriff's office and the Colorado Springs Police Department before working for several school districts in administration), will replace Cardarelle as comptroller. Asked about the future of Cardarelle and Huntz, Elder said he was not ready to announce whether they would remain employed by the office.