EPSO deputies take stand in Maketa trial

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Day four of the Terry Maketa retrial took place inside the El Paso County Court.

The former sheriff faces multiple charges including two felony counts revolving around his former campaign manager Wendy Habert, and former deputies Jim Reid and Ray Gerhart. 

Habert alleges she was targeted by Maketa for not running undersheriff Paula Presley’s campaign and filing a sexual claim against EPSO Commander John Molatch. 

Current undersheriff Joe Breister confirmed the details regarding the sexual assault. 

“Wendy expressed how she felt and how she thought it was inappropriate,” said Breister. “At that time Commander Molatch apologized to her and said he would set his boundaries.”

Senior Deputy District Attorney, Amy Fitch, also took the stand. Prosecutors allege Maketa abused his power and put Reid and Gerhart on a “career ending” list also known as the Brady List.

Fitch told jurors the Brady List determines officers who have departed from the truth, but she says this list was different. Fitch testified in court that she was aware of conflicts between Maketa and the two deputies and revealed that this list was more of a “hit list.” 

“My first reaction was that this was a hit list or enemies list of Mr. Maketa, and some names in particular really jumped out of me as being concerning,” said Fitch. 

Also in question is the Bill Elder file, a file said to have contained a record of infractions relating to Sheriff Elder. The file allegedly went missing inside the internal affairs office while running for sheriff. 

“I remember coming across Bill Elder’s file and remembering ‘man, even he has one,'” said Lt. Peck, who also testified in court. 

Lt. Peck told jurors Maketa went to lunch with Elder and was told Gerhart had revealed private internal affairs matters to Elder.

“I was asked to open an internal affairs investigation on Gerhart for violating confidence of an internal affairs investigation,” said Peck. 

Maketa went on to issue an investigation against Gerhart for disclosing private matters with other agencies. Gerhart resigned amid questions of the whereabouts of the file. Peck says Maketa wanted her to go to the media several times to comment on the missing Elder file. Sheriff Elder has always claimed he never had a file in the first place. 

Court will resume Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 8:30 a.m.

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