Todd Evans, the Republican Party's leading candidate for El Paso County sheriff, tried pot as a teen, twice shot suspects, and currently runs security for Colorado Springs Christian Schools while also serving as a bodyguard for a movie star he won't name.
Evans, unknown in most political circles until last week, is a 42-year-old wonder boy, according to his performance evaluations while a deputy, sergeant and lieutenant with the sheriff's office from 1995 to 2006. The reviews burst with superlatives for his communication skills, leadership, judgment, initiative, personnel management and even his buff appearance.
"Todd has earned the respect and trust of others through uncompromising integrity and openness," an evaluator wrote in 2005. Superiors praised him for being "a natural leader due to his courage and decisiveness" and "a powerful influence on others, motivating them to perform their best."
Evans ran the SWAT team that worked the Texas Seven capture in January 2001, led an anti-gang detail, oversaw the sheriff's training academy, and won accolades for his "compelling presentations" on various topics that "completely enthralled" audiences around the community.
The Albuquerque, N.M., native fessed up in his employment application that he smoked marijuana "twice in high school as a stupid/naîve adolescent experiment." Talking with the Indy, he acknowledges he inhaled the "few times" he used the drug.
"I was a typical teenager," he says. "I got into fights as well."
Evans also volunteers that he shot a suspect armed with a knife in the mid-1990s and another suspect in 2002. Both were determined to be "clean shoots." The knife suspect survived, and the other died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
If Sheriff Terry Maketa had stayed in the race, Evans says that as a challenger, he would have emphasized their different career paths. "Mine is focused on the streets, his on the jail," Evans says.
Evans left the department in 2006 to work for Infinity Land Corp., a developer, but left that post last year for the school and movie-star security gigs.
He calls himself a "social and fiscal conservative and Christian" but won't disclose, at the request of his wife, the two churches they and their three kids attend.