Maketa in­tends to sue, seeks mil­lions

The for­mer El Paso County sher­iff al­leges ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Lance Ben­zel

colorado springs» In­dicted ex-El Paso County Sher­iff Terry Maketa and two for­mer sub­or­di­nates have launched a coun­ter­at­tack — say­ing they in­tend to sue for ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion.

In a se­ries of claims sent out Nov. 18, at­tor­neys say they will ask for pay­outs of up to $10 mil­lion each for Maketa, for­mer Un­der­sh­er­iff Paula Pres­ley and for­mer Cmdr. Juan “John” San Agustin.

The three were in­dicted in May on felony cor­rup­tion charges dur­ing Maketa’s tur­bu­lent third term in of­fice.

“For years, peo­ple in­side and out­side of the El Paso County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice, the ... Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice for the Fourth Judicial Dis­trict, and the Board of County Com­mis­sion­ers for El Paso County have been on a mis­sion to de­mean and de­grade Ter­rance “Terry” Maketa’s pub­lic ser­vice,” the let­ter states. “Th­ese en­ti­ties and the em­ploy­ees thereof have re­cently been joined by the Colorado Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Of­fice of the Dis­trict At­tor­ney for the 18th Judicial Dis­trict and oth­ers in this ma­li­cious and defam­a­tory process.”

No­tices of claim were served to more than 30 po­ten­tial de­fen­dants, in­clud­ing cur­rent Sher­iff Bill Elder, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Dan May, Colorado At­tor­ney Gen­eral Cyn­thia Coff­man, and the top of­fi­cial in the Colorado Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The claim no­tices are a first step to sue the agen­cies and their rep­re­sen­ta­tives in state court.

Claims of pros­e­cu­to­rial mis­con­duct and un­fair pros­e­cu­tion were pre­vi­ously aired in a bid to get crim­i­nal charges tossed, but they found lit­tle trac­tion in court.

In late Novem­ber, 4th Judicial Dis­trict Judge Larry E. Schwartz dis­missed sev­eral le­gal mo­tions ask­ing that the in­dict­ments be over­turned.

The rul­ings cleared the way for their prose­cu­tions to con­tinue — po­ten­tially set­ting up what prom­ise to be closely watched tri­als.

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