A former Colorado sheriff accused of official misconduct has been acquitted of three of seven counts.

Jurors found former El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa not guilty Tuesday of witness tampering, conspiracy to commit witness tampering and misconduct. They deadlocked on four other counts.

The 52-year-old former lawman was accused of trying to undermine the credibility of three deputies and threatening to terminate a $5.3 million contract with the jail's health provider if it did not fire an employee who refused to support then-Undersheriff Paula Presley's candidacy to succeed him.

Prosecutors also say Maketa and others coerced a woman involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story so the deputy could keep his job.

Maketa declined to take the stand in his own defense.