UPDATE, July 12:
The effort to recall Sheriff Terry Maketa ended Saturday despite the petition receiving more than the required amount of signatures.
The group behind the recall initiative announced Saturday that though they exceeded to 44,387 signatures needed to get the recall on the November ballot, they did not feel they had enough to pass the signature verification process.
Organizers say more than 48,000 people signed the petition.
"We didn't have the buffer we wanted," Randy Stagner, the leader of the group behind the recall, said.
The precise 44,387 number was based on 25 percent of the people who voted in the sheriff's race in 2010. Since Maketa was voted into office, only the voting public has the power to remove him from his position as sheriff.
ORIGINAL STORY, July 11: Friday was the final push to get more signatures on a recall petition to rid Sheriff Terry Maketa of his title.
The group behind the drive spent hours in front of the El Paso County Courthouse collecting last-minute signatures. They were stopping everyone who passed by asking them to sign the petition.
Maketa has become the focus of recent controversy, having been accused of misconduct, abuse of power, affairs with subordinates and creating a hostile work environment. In May, the El Paso County commissioners voted unanimously to ask Maketa to step down; however, the commissioners do not actually have the power to force Maketa to resign. Only voters can do so--and only if the option is on the November ballot.
Approximately 44,387 signatures are needed in order for the recall initiative to make it on the ballot. The group is waiting until Saturday at 12:30 p.m. to release the final total, but told 11 News they were "confident" they had the number needed.
At last check a couple of weeks ago, the group still needed 15,000 to reach their goal.
Even if the group does meet its goal, the recall is largely a symbolic gesture at this point, as Maketa's term ends in January. Maketa's supporters have criticized the efforts to recall him, saying it is waste of time and taxpayer money.
We'll let you know the final number of signatures on the petition after that number is released Saturday.
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