former Sheriff Terry Maketa,
former Undersheriff Paula Presley
and former Sheriff's Office Commander John San Agustin
made their first appearance in El Paso County District Court Thursday morning on charges that include kidnapping.
All three were given a court date of June 20, though David Kaplan, who's representing Maketa with well-known defense attorney Pamela Mackey
, told the judge that date conflicts with his schedule. So a new date is likely to be assigned. Maketa's legal team was first reported by the Independent
on June 1.
Mackey is famous for her successful defense work with high-profile figures, including pro basketball player Kobe Bryant and local U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters developer Ray Marshall, among others. Kaplan, too, has credentials for handling cases involving elected officials.
Maketa, Presley and San Augstin were indicted May 25
in connection with persuading a domestic violence victim to change her story against an El Paso County sheriff's deputy and her subsequent arrest. Maketa and Presley were indicted on other charges in connection with their alleged threats to cancel the jail medical contract if one of its employees wasn't fired. That employee, Wendy Habert, later was fired after she allegedly declined to handle Presley's campaign for sheriff. Presley never declared as a candidate, and Habert was paid $55,000 by the county for the incident. Habert now works for El Paso County for an annual salary of about $90,000.
The duo are also charged in connection with incidents surrounding the so-called missing personnel file of Bill Elder
, who was elected sheriff in November 2014.
The county has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars for investigations and in settlements, though not ordered to do so through court judgments, to current and former sheriff's employees who alleged Maketa operated on a policy of favoritism based on sexual favors provided by certain subordinates.
Thursday morning, cameras surrounded Maketa and his lawyers as they walked into the courthouse. They also lurked around elevators awaiting the arrival of Presley and San Agustin. Maketa wore a sport coat and button-down shirt and held the hand of his wife, Vicki, as they walked through the hallway.
Presley's mother was at her daughter's side before and after the brief court appearance.
Here's the indictment:
In less than a couple of minutes,