UPDATE: Attorneys want to know why sheriff's wife has inside information
Updated On: Jul 02 2014 11:55:42 PM CDT
An El Paso County commissioner said Wednesday the El Paso County sheriff's wife violated a policy he signed off on.
Commissioner Peggy Littleton wanted to know how Sheriff Terry Maketa's wife, Vicki, knew about information on certain employees' Internal Affairs files. She urged KRDO NewsChannel 13 to request files for three employees who filed formal complaints against the sheriff. The files documented inappropriate behavior by the three employees.
Littleton pointed to Policy 316 with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. It outlines rules for Internal Affairs investigations. It says employees and members cannot review these investigations.
"It doesn't even speak about spouses or outside people," said Littleton. "It says employees and members aren't even going to be allowed to do that."
Attorney David Lane said if he represented the three employees whose files were obtained, he would consider legal action.
"I would consider filing a lawsuit and getting to the bottom of how Vicki Maketa somehow got this information," said Lane.
Littleton said right now the county is not pursuing legal action against Vicki Maketa. However, Littleton said the county would not come to Vicki Maketa's defense if someone else did.
"The county is not responsible for anything she says and does; the county and citizens won't pick up any tab that she has," said Littleton.
El Paso County sheriff's spokesperson Lt. Jeff Kramer could not be reached for comment before KRDO NewsChannel 13's 10 p.m. newscast, but he sent this response after the story aired.
"The only knowledge Vicki Maketa had of IA content regarding Cmdr King and Sgt Schaller is what she learned from them directly during previous conversations and their own comments. Her knowledge of Deputy Porter came from her previous employment with the DA's office and from the fact she works for an attorney and read in the paper about his evidence debate.
As you know, case law says we have to release IA information. Completed IA records surrounding duty related matters have been declared a matter of public interest and therefore repeatable to the public and not just the media."
(07/02/14) Attorneys want to know why El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa's wife has inside information on employees' personnel files.
This comes after KRDO NewsChannel 13's report on Monday night revealing information obtained in documents it received through Colorado Open Records Act requests from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 requested personnel files on Cmdr. Rob King, Deputy Cliff Porter and Sgt. Michael Schaller at the urging of Maketa's wife Vicki Maketa. The files reveal inappropriate behavior among Maketa's accusers.
Formal complaints made against the sheriff accuse him of creating a hostile work environment and sexual favoritism.
Attorney Erin Jensen represents Schaller and Porter. He questions why Vicki Maketa knew that information.
"Media outlets were contacted by Vicki Maketa and it was she who made the suggestion that these files be requested. Sheriff Maketa continues to destroy the credibility of his office," Jensen said in a statement Monday.
High-powered criminal defense attorney David Lane said it's not acceptable for Vicki Maketa to know what information was contained in those files.
"Things like that are generally considered confidential and there is no way she should know about that unless she is a member of the internal affairs bureau or she is in the Sheriff's Office, of which she is neither," said Lane.
He said it is obvious who is giving her this information.
"This is another very poor reflection on Sheriff Maketa," said Lane.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 contacted Vicki Maketa to ask where she obtained the information but requests for interviews were not returned.
She had previously contacted KRDO NewsChannel 13 about potentially doing an interview.
"Depending upon how you handle this story today, and the way your station handles it (they are clearly on a witch hunt), IF AND WHEN I decide to talk, it will be to you," said Vicki Maketa through text.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 has asked for interviews with Vicki Maketa at rallies and meetings but she has refused.
In a letter posted on Citizens For Sheriff Terry Maketa, Vicki Maketa blasted the media.
"The media in this town is so corrupt that they can't even wait for all the facts," said Vicki Maketa in the letter posted on Facebook.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 management has followed up with phone calls inquiring about the accusations made against its reports, Vicki Maketa has returned the requests.
She did say in a voicemail to KRDO NewsChannel 13 management that the sheriff has received death threats in the past.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 confirmed Tuesday the last death threat the sheriff received was in November and December 2013. The person who made the threats was charged with harassment.
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