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Last weekend, before his video apology went public, some locals weighed in on the accusations surrounding El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.

click to enlarge Amy Underwood

Amy Underwood of the central area is a student and a jeweler

Have you been following the story about Sheriff Maketa? No, not very much. I know there's something going on, and I've heard other people say he was a great sheriff until he went a little nuts about the Black Forest Fire.

What's surprised you most about it so far? I heard he was no longer sheriff, but that was just something someone else told me.

How prevalent do you think abuse of power is in our government? Well, that's what our government is all about now, isn't it?

What would you say to the sheriff if you ran into him on the street today? "What happened, man?"

What are your hopes for the next sheriff? Someone who doesn't over-promise, and then actually follows through.

click to enlarge Maui Liu

Maui Liu of the north side is an artist

How closely have you been following the scandal around Sheriff Maketa? Not very closely, just when other people bring it up. I try to stay away from TV. Plus, the issue doesn't concern me that much.

Are you surprised about what you've heard? Mostly what surprises me is that so many people make such a big deal out of someone else's personal business.

Do you think abuse of power is prevalent in our government? Extremely. When you're in a place of power, there's so much available to you it's easy to take advantage. But you're also held to a higher standard, and you have a responsibility to use that power to help other people, and not for your own personal gain.

What are your hopes for the next person coming into this office? Just do a good job, and keep your professional and personal life separate as much as possible.

click to enlarge Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis of the west side is an illustrator

What's surprised you most about the Maketa scandal so far? Nothing about it surprises me. This is a small town with urban spread but with a small-town mentality.

How prevalent do you think abuse of power is in our government? I think people try to start out in service, but in law enforcement sometimes they get above the law. It's too bad, because it reflects on the good cops.

Is there a lesson to be taken from all this? The more power you give to someone, the shorter the leash needs to be. It's the same with the NSA and the CIA.

What would you say to the sheriff if you ran into him on the street today? You can't even print that.

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