Sheriff's Office Confirms 3 Commanders Have Been Placed On Leave

Three commanders from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office have been placed on paid administrative leave for alleged policy violations.

The sheriff's office confirms the administrative leave is due to a pending investigation into the violations, but declined to elaborate further. The office would say that the leave is not because of a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

County commissioners confirmed there had been a complaint filed, but could not legally say why.

The sheriff's office would also not release the names of the three commanders, but The Gazette reports it's Mitch Lincoln, Rob King and Rodney Gehrett.

Adding to the confusion, the sheriff's office announced last weekend plans to "remove" two commanders for telling the newspaper they were pressured into nominating the sheriff for an award. How--or even if--all of this is connected is unknown.

A spokesman with EPSO told 11 News that there is "no definitive timeline" for how long the administrative leave will last, but that the commanders will remain on leave until the investigation is complete. In the interim, the sheriff's office says there will be acting commanders appointed to fill the positions temporarily. EPSO has not chosen who the three acting commanders will be, but says those in acting positions are typically members of the sheriff's office who are one rank lower than the position they are temporarily filling, and assigned within the same division.

Through his spokesperson, Sheriff Terry Maketa said "there will be no disruption to emergency response or service delivery of any kind while these internal matters are being addressed."