COLORADO SPRINGS - After 9NEWS sent a letter to the El Paso County Commissioners about Sheriff Terry Maketa's refusal to release his apology video, a clean version of the file was made public Friday.
A legal advisor denied a 9NEWS public records request for the video on Thursday, claiming the video isn't public record.
Sheriff Maketa made the apology video last week with public equipment and sent it to government employees on public computer servers.
Watch the full video:
A cell phone video of the video itself was leaked to the Colorado Springs Gazette, in which Sheriff Maketa is barely audible and heard acknowledging inappropriate behavior and not being candid when confronted about allegations of affairs.
Several parts of the video are inaudible.
Maketa has refused the county commissioner's call to resign amid allegations he may have used department resources for his exploits and promoted women he may have been involved with.
Steve Zansberg, President of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, called the initial denial of the apology video file absurd.
"The idea that the head of the department can issue a formal statement to all 800 employees of his department about his official conduct, and to argue that's not a public record is laughable," Zansberg said.
On Friday afternoon, 9NEWS sent this email to the county commissioners alerting them to the denial. Less than an hour later, 9NEWS was told by a county spokesperson a copy of the video will be released.
County Commissioner Amy Lathen sent this response to 9NEWS Friday:
Thank you for contacting us and making us aware of this. I simply could not agree more with you about this and the need for transparency. I wish to tell you that we are doing everything we possibly can to maintain the highest degree of transparency, openness and accessibility while appropriately dealing with this pending litigation within the county. We were not included in the distribution of the video by the Sheriff's Office and in fact, I have only seen it in news media. I have however, asked our County Attorney to provide whatever copy we were ultimately able to secure, which was given directly to the third party investigator. She has provided a response agreeing that we have absolutely no issue with releasing this to you.
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