This summer, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he welcomed a criminal investigation into his alleged wrongdoings – ranging from sexual misconduct to creating a hostile work environment to mishandling his office’s budget – because it would “clear up a lot of myths that are going around.” Now, months later, he’s taking those words back. Last Thursday Maketa announced that at the end of this year, he will pack his bags and go. The embattled Sheriff had intended to ride out the rest of his term after surviving a recall effort, but as the criminal investigation wears on, it’s become increasingly clear that many of the claims are legit (though the Colorado Bureau of Investigation declined to comment on the investigation, a private attorney substantiated many of the claims against the Sheriff in a public briefing to the county commissioners last month.) It’s likely the county commissioners will appoint Sheriff-elect Bill Elder to be interim Sheriff until his term officially begins in mid-January. The Gazette reports that so far, costs related to the investigation have surpassed $240,000.
As its economy grows, Colorado has revenue on its hands and everyone wants a piece of it. The Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) mandates that the state must start giving refunds to taxpayers, but many see places where the cash could boost programs that suffered during the recession. “That’s going to be the question for everybody — is there an appetite to go out and say, ‘All right, how do we get some of this money to our local communities?’” Hickenlooper said at a recent conference in Colorado Springs. In the budget he is preparing for lawmakers to debate this spring, the governor allocated nearly $137 million in refunds for the 2016 tax year. Via the Aurora Sentinel.
On Friday, nonprofit Colorado Legal Services filed suit on behalf of three Filipino immigrants whom the owners of a farm and produce market in Rocky Ford held in debt bondage under threat of deportation. The workers were also forced to labor “under sometimes-harsh conditions, often without sufficient food,” the suit alleges. Via the Pueblo Chieftain.
Pot shops are Febreeze-ing their money, running it through dryers, doing whatever they can to rid bills of the smell of dope. Why? Because federal authorities have asked banks to file suspicious-activity reports for any transaction that reek of illegal drugs. Companies working in the state’s legal marijuana industry therefore have taken it upon themselves to literally launder their own money for fear that reports could be used as evidence to shut them down at the whim of the feds. Via the Durango Herald.