New information offers insight into cost of sheriff's legal counsel
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 11:24:22 PM CDT
Documents obtained by KRDO NewsChannel 13 Thursday offer insight into the amount of taxpayer dollars used so far on legal representation for El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.
Maketa is accused of creating a hostile work environment in formal complaints filed by several of his employees. He is also accused of having inappropriate relationships with three women and promoting them to positions they don't deserve.
Attorney Pamela Mackey has been retained by El Paso County to represent Maketa. The county is obligated by law to provide legal counsel for the sheriff. El Paso County Commissioners said $10,000 would be spent on the sheriff's legal counsel. Commissioners also added the county would have to cover additional costs.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 obtained emails between Mackey and the county related to costs for Maketa's case.
Mackey said as of Friday, June 6, she and her staff had spent 26.8 hours in connection with Maketa's case. The county agreed to pay her at a reduced government rate of $250 an hour. The county said it has not received an invoice yet, but 26.8 hours would amount to $6,700.
In a letter on June 17, Senior Assistant County Attorney Diana May said the county no longer needed Mackey to represent Maketa and any work she did after that day would not be paid for by the county.
"Initially this was a very fluid situation and the County Attorney’s Office wanted to make sure there was no conflict of interest and outside representation was deemed necessary at that time based on the information known," said El Paso County spokesperson Jennifer Brown by email. "Currently, the County has only received notices of claim and no actual lawsuits because of that at this point outside representation is not necessary. The County Attorney’s Office could reevaluate the situation if a lawsuit is filed."
However, Mackey still continues to represent Maketa. El Paso County spokesperson Jeff Kramer said Maketa is paying for his own legal representation.
Sources close to the controversy who wish to remain anonymous said Mackey plans to sue the county later to recover the costs for representing Maketa.
Commissioner Darryl Glenn said Thursday night he had not heard of that possibility. He said it was necessary to spend to money to retain Mackey based on information the board of commissioners had received. He said commissioners are working in the taxpayers' best interest.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked the County Attorney's Office about the possibility of Mackey suing to recover the costs. It said it wouldn't comment on rumors.
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