Former Sheriff Terry Maketa turns self in following indictment
With 24 hours to go, former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa has turned himself in to authorities in Gilpin County, Colorado.
The county sheriff's office confirmed that Maketa has already bonded out.
Former Commander Juan "John" San Agustin
. He has also bonded out.
Former Undersheriff Paula Presley
, shortly after news of the trio's indictments broke.
The three had until noon Friday to surrender to law enforcement.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder issued a statement Thursday afternoon:
11 News spoke to a former prosecutor,
, who worked in the DA's Office during Maketa's administration.
Laybourne said each of the felony charges is punishable by two to six years in prison, but can be something different depending on what the judge decides.
"The judge can impose probation, the judge can impose some kind of community corrections where someone is allowed to go to work and it's in a not as high security facility or prison," Laybourne said.
If the three are convicted of these crimes, Laybourne said they would never work in law enforcement again.
"A felony [conviction], you could not be allowed because you wouldn't be able to carry a weapon. In Colorado, that revokes your rights to carry a fire arm," he said.
Laybourne also said even being charged with these crimes could pose a practical challenge to a law enforcement career.
"Every time they take the stand in court, there's going to be a question about their integrity, there's going to be a question about if they're telling the truth, there's going to be a question about whether they can be trusted," Laybourne said.
He also said since many of the claims are based on testimony, it could be a hard case to prove.
"We don't know what all the Colorado Bureau of Investigation knows or doesn't know ... it is harder to make a case based on individual testimony then when you have a smoking gun. Ironically it's more difficult to prove a case when you're relying on witnesses as opposed to police officers and of course everyone [in this case] are police officers," he said.
As of Thursday night, no court hearing was scheduled for Maketa, Presley or San Agustin.
The clock is ticking for former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who has until noon Friday to turn himself in.
Maketa, along with former Undersheriff Paula Presley, faces a laundry list of charges: extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, tampering with a witness or victim, conspiracy to commit tampering with a witness or victim, second-degree kidnapping, false imprisonment, and first-degree official misconduct.
Former commander Juan "John" San Agustin also faces charges of second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Presley turned herself in Wednesday night and was held at the Pueblo County Jail before
Maketa, Presley and San Agustin were all indicted by an El Paso County grand jury Wednesday.
Indictment papers for the three paint a controlling image of the past administration at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. The documents give details claiming many of the charges stemmed from Maketa's, Presley's and San Agustin's actions in response to a domestic violence incident between sheriff's Deputy Garretson and his girlfriend, who worked for the company that would supply medical services to the jail.
Court papers said between September 11 - November 4 in 2013, Maketa and Presley threatened to terminate a $5.2 million contract with Correctional Healthcare Companies if they didn't fire the woman who accused Deputy Garretson of domestic violence.
According to court documents, Maketa and Presley agreed to work together to extort the Correctional Healthcare Companies (CHC). At the time, CHC had a $5.2 million dollar contract with the Sheriff's Office to provide medical services to the jail. On September 11, 2013, a CHC employee sent out a memo saying that a Sheriff's Commander said inappropriate comments towards an administrator as well as two other CHC employees. Court documents said the next day Maketa called the administrator and complained about the memo and accused her of coaching the domestic violence victim, who at the time was dating a deputy. The court papers also said that employee declined to run Presley's campaign for Sheriff.
According to court documents, in late September or early October Maketa and Presley ordered that un-named administrator to be fired or they would terminate the Sheriff's Office's contract with CHC. During the meeting, Maketa and Presley reportedly "did so with voices raised in a hostile and threatening manner, adamant that their demand be met."
CHC eventually fired that employee even though there was no prior disciplinary or employment issues with her. Reportedly, during a November meeting that employee had with CHC HR, they told her she was fired because of a "fractured client relationship and her decision not to run Undersheriff Presley's campaign."
Court documents said on September 12, 2013 Maketa and Presley told the domestic violence victim to come into the Sheriff's Office and recant her story and say that she was the aggressor so the deputy she accused could keep his job. The woman was then arrested for domestic violence and taken to jail. The charges against her were later dropped.
Maketa, Presley and Juan San Agustin allegedly planned together to arrest that woman and take her to jail although several Sheriff Office employees including Bureau Chief Harmon indicated the arrest was not lawful "as there was no blood or breath testing completed or independent evidence of the crime. Harmon and Sergeant Jaworski both said they felt like they would lose their job if they did not follow orders.
Other charges stem from Maketa and Presley's alleged actions to tamper with what's known as a "Brady" list and their investigation into a missing file. The Brady list contains names of law enforcement officers whose credibility may be compromised.
Court documents allege that Presley would try to add officers' names to the Brady list because they had upset her. On December 5, 2014, Presley allegedly tried to add many officers' names to that list, three of whom had not worked for the Sheriff's Office in over a year. One of the names was the Commander of the Emergency Services Division. He was placed on administrative leave and was reportedly the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation for conflicts between Maketa and Presley. According to court documents, one of those conflicts was the After Action Report for the Waldo Canyon Fire. The Commander said he eventually resigned because he was afraid of losing his job.
While Sheriff Bill Elder was running for office his internal affairs file was reported missing on April 8, 2013. According to court documents, an investigation to find it was launched in December 2013. Allegedly only "Bill Elder Supporters" were subject to investigation. The court papers go on to say that the investigation into certain employees continued despite Presley allegedly admitting that the file was at her house. Part of the investigation included subjecting employees to a ' Computerized Voice Stress Analysis' (CVSA).
Two employees who did not work in Internal Affairs and did not have access to Internal Affairs Files were reportedly accused of stealing the file. One of the employees reportedly resigned after being told he would be fired after showing 'deception' on the CVSA. He was demoted after the fact, following the resignation.
Maketa and Presley reportedly 'berated' the other employee on December 4, 2013 for attempting to organize a union. That employee was demoted to a less desirable shift. A few days later the employee was asked to take a CVSA and passed. He resigned a few days later after he was told things were "about to get worse for him." Presley attempted to order his termination following his resignation.
Court papers say neither employee had anything to do with the missing Bill Elder File.
In December 2014, the District Attorney's Office tried to ask Maketa about the additional names being added to the Brady List. Court documents say that Maketa did not answer any questions and he was upset that the DA would try to investigate the list.
The three employees were not placed on the Brady List and the documents note that they never had been placed on the list in the past.
The Office of the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District was assigned as the special prosecuting office on this matter.
District Attorney George Brauchler said, "The public should remember that an indictment is merely a list of allegations and that our criminal justice system only works if we presume those indicted innocent of those allegations at this stage of the proceedings."
El Paso County Commissioner Vice-Chair Dennis Hisey released a statement saying, "We appreciate the work of the investigators, and the care they took in this case. We thank the citizens who were on the Grand Jury for their time and effort and appreciate their careful consideration of the evidence. Given the fact there are now criminal cases involving former Sheriff Terry Maketa, former Undersheriff Paula Presley and former Commander Juan San Augustin it would be inappropriate to comment further, as we do not want to in any way influence that criminal process."
11 News is working to learn more about this case. We will update this article as we get more information.