- File photo
Former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa was acquitted on two misdemeanor official misconduct charges, and the jury reached an impasse on the more serious felony charges of extortion and conspiracy on Feb. 5 after a retrial that began on Jan. 23, according to a Twitter feed from the Gazette.
The misdemeanor counts stemmed from allegations Maketa chose to punish political foes by placing officers on a list of people with honesty issues in the past. The extortion counts accused Maketa of ordering that a contractor’s employee, Wendy Habert, be fired after she refused to run a sheriff campaign for Maketa’s undersheriff, Paula Presley, which never materialized.
The trial was the second go-round for the 18th Judicial District, which was assigned the case after 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May stepped aside, citing potential conflicts of interest. A trial in July ended in the jury acquitting on other charges but hanging on several counts.
The Gazette reported Maketa is due in court on Feb. 27 for a status conference. Prosecutors didn’t say if they would take a third run at the former sheriff, and Maketa didn’t respond to an Indy request for comment, though he told other media he was “very pleased” with the outcome.