Currently, two people are running to replace the term-limited Maketa: Bill Elder and Jim Reid, though it should be noted that both former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson and El Paso County Undersheriff Paula Presley haven't ruled out campaigns.
The Independent opted to look into the backgrounds of both Reid and Elder
to provide voters with a better understanding of the candidates.
Some of the information we garnered, particularly in regard to Elder
, raises more questions than it answers, but we will keep you updated as information becomes available that could shed more light on both of their stories.
Best in show
At the Central Committee
meeting for El Paso County Republicans on Jan. 18, dozens of candidates for state and local office were introduced.
But Bill Elder
was arguably the star of the show.
, 56, does appear to have the edge when it comes to support from law enforcement personnel.
Perhaps that's because he
worked the front lines of policing, while Jim Reid, who also long served in the county sheriff's office, specialized in handling emergencies like fires (see "Meeting expectations").
was hired in 1979, and over nearly 20 years served as dispatcher, deputy, sergeant and lieutenant under four different sheriffs.
Along with patrol, he
earned experience in the Investigations Division, the Communications Center
, the Civil Division, the Fugitive Division, and the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division.
He won awards, attended specialized schools to further his skills and served on boards and committees related to the job.
Elder, who says he will work on regional cooperation and inter-agency relations if elected, also touts more than 14 years of experience running small businesses.
He currently serves as deputy chief of the Fountain Police Department, where he is a contract employee.
The sheriff's office does keep internal affairs files, which record investigations into possible violations by employees, but Sheriff Terry Maketa says Elder's went missing from a locked room last spring.
Maketa, who has not endorsed either Elder
or Reid, explains that Lt.
Dan May has already expressed support for Elder
says there's more to the story.
attorney issued the following statement from Elder
: "Because I have been told there is an ongoing federal investigation concerning the El Paso County Sheriff's Office's
handling of my employment records, I am limited as to what I can say about the alleged missing employment file.
Todd Evans, the Fountain police chief (and a past candidate for sheriff), tells the Independent that when Elder was hired in Fountain, his office was allowed to review employment files Elder had at the sheriff's office.
Asked about the two IA employees who say they saw his
said, "Flat out that is a lie ...
I am telling you on a stack of Bibles I have never, never been the subject of an internal affairs investigation."
Inside a file
Maketa says the sheriff's office doesn't keep multiple copies of IA files, and thus it's impossible to ascertain everything that could have been in Elder's
, assuming it existed.
admits to the insubordination and says he
argues that the issue did not result in an internal affairs investigation.
"[The sheriff's office is] capable of finding minute detailed documents on my past," he
said, "... but they can't find a document that supposedly I was the target of an internal affairs investigation."
There were other documents as well.
At times, more than one employee will be interviewed or investigated in relation to an alleged violation.
Thus, more than one employee's IA file will contain the information and documentation of an investigation.
Two incidents were found in this way that involved Elder
was insistent in his
interview that he
would never condone taking equipment home, and there's no indication he
told the Independent recently that he
does not remember being disciplined, and barely recalls the incident at all.
The other allegation, however, is more serious.
An investigation from May 1998 shows that under the supervision and direction of then-Lt.
, members of the Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division were given overtime pay and comp time in accordance with Colorado Springs Police Department rules, not sheriff's office rules.
Sgt. Bill Claspell, who worked under Elder
, stated in the investigation that he
kept time in the manner Elder
ordered, noting that when he
questioned Elder about the change in procedure, he
was told it was to be on the same track as CSPD.
An audit also showed that a previous supervisor had kept time according to sheriff's policy, and that time-keeping procedures only changed a few months after Elder
Furthermore, the investigation summary states in part: "During an interview with Elder
instructed Claspell to keep time records concerning overtime and comp time in the same manner as CSPD.
felt it was more consistent and caused less confusion for CSPD supervisor's [sic] who oversee EPSO employee's [sic].
estimated that this deviation may have cost the Sheriff's Office twenty hours of time and feels it was worth that to be consistent."
, however, maintains that he
did nothing wrong, and says he
wasn't given a true opportunity to explain himself.
"My interview with this was over the phone, and I was asked a couple of questions," he
"I had no idea that my questions were a part of an Internal Affairs investigation."
goes on to describe, in detail, a complicated pay system involving regulations, a Memorandum of Understanding with the Police Department, and layers of oversight.
calculated hours correctly.
denies saying he
calculated hours as he
did in order to be more fair or to simplify the process.
"Employees assigned to Metro Narcotics worked under the guidelines of CSPD," he
also notes - and documents and Anderson confirm - that he
never benefited from the arrangement, because he
was not eligible to receive overtime pay or comp time.
'We could not survive'
does admit to some mistakes in his
In 1994, Elder
and his then-wife Donna filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
says of the bankruptcy:
says the bankruptcy was a fresh start, and he's
never missed a payment since.
notes that he's
managed large budgets more recently, in his
private businesses and for the Fountain PD.
"I kept that [bankruptcy] file," he
"That file means something to me.
That's the reminder to me of a significant emotional event."
currently owns a home valued at $286,270 in the northeast section of the city.
Tags: Cover Story, Bill Elder, Jim Reid, Terry Maketa, Internal Affairs, file, John Anderson, conspiracy, investigation, bankruptcy, disobedience, overtime, scope, El Paso County Sheriff, candidate, Todd Evans