pay raises

Colo. sheriff says Democrats withholding pay raises in retaliation for gun bill opposition

by Greg Campbell, The Daily Caller  |  published on March 12, 2013

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says that unnamed Democrats in Colorado’s state Senate have threatened to withhold pay raises for the state’s sheriffs in retaliation for their opposition to a package of gun control measures that will get their final vote in the Senate on Monday.

Maketa, a Republican elected in 2002, made the allegation on a talk radio show Saturday. He told KVOR host Jeff Crank that he received an email from a member of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, a lobbying group, informing him that “the Senate Dem leadership is very upset with the sheriffs and their opposition to the gun control bills.”

Maketa did not say who sent him the email or who allegedly threatened to delay voting on a bill that would raise sheriffs’ salaries in Colorado. He also hasn’t released the email, and CSOC president Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee told the Denver Post he hadn’t heard about the allegation.

But Maketa discussed the alleged threat at length on the radio show and he was clear in his opinion that the pressure he said Democrats were applying amounted to “coercion” and “extortion.” He promised to ask Attorney General John Suthers to open an investigation.

“What they’re saying is ‘you have really upset us,’” he told KVOR host Jeff Crank, “and it’s almost a coercion, extortion, blackmail or influence of a public official through pay.”

Because sheriffs are elected in Colorado, their salaries are set by the state legislature, which follows the recommendations of a salary commission. Maketa said sheriffs haven’t seen a pay raise since 2006 and are due a 10 percent increase.

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