Sunday, July 13, 2014

Colorado: El Paso sheriff recall fails due to lack of signature buffer

The recall attempt against El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who is facing investigation into claims of sexual improprieties, has failed.

Petitioners needed 44,387 signatures. They claim to have collected 48,000, but do not feel that is enough to get them over. Based on past experience, they are likely correct (the rule of thumb is 15-120% failure rate on signatures, and in Colorado, it seems to be a lot higher). However, the recall of State Senator Angela Giron saw an incredibly low signature failure rate, so there was a possibility of success (though they likely did not use the same technology that made the Giron recall such an outlier). Petitioners claimed that having the county check the signatures would have cost $20,000, and they didn't want to run up that expense.

Some details on the Maketa allegations:
An investigation by the El Paso County Board of Commissioners into Maketa's conduct began in mid-May after complaints were filed accusing him of sexual improprieties, creating a hostile work environment, discrimination and removing almost all oversight of the Sheriff's Office annual budget.

Nine claims seeking $3.9 million in damages have been filed, El Paso County spokesman Dave Rose said. In late May, the county commissioners also cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in the sheriff and called for Maketa's resignation. Maketa has said he will not resign and intends to complete his third and final term, which ends Jan. 13, 2015.

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