Michelle Madderom Mackey: A second chance

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— I was asked by the Pilot & Today if I would like to comment in Wednesday's article about my husband Mark Mackey, but I felt I needed to clear the air in my own words.

This past year has been a living nightmare for Mark, myself and our families: from sleepless nights to wondering how we were ever going to continue to afford to live in the town I was born and raised in and love so much.

I recall speaking with deputies regarding Mark's arrest. I explained, in my opinion, this ordeal had been blown out of proportion. Not once did I feel my opinion in the case mattered, although I was being framed as the harassment "victim." I have never felt like a victim, but have felt victimized by the system.

The facts of the case are as follows: A normal marital argument occurred between the two of us. My husband, Mark, left our home to cool off. He contacted fellow officers wanting someone to talk to. Neither one of us ever thought an argument would send him to jail for the night. Nor did we ever believe the resulting charges were valid. His weapon was in his vehicle, not on him.

The "push" was out of a laundry basket. As stupid as it may sound, I was folding laundry and sat in the basket during our argument. I never fell to the ground nor was injured because of this. I never felt threatened, intimidated nor coerced. I also never thought a family's "laundry" would be put on public display for ridicule and judgment as this situation has been.

I expressed my opinion to the District Attorney's office several times and sent a letter to them in September, from which I have never received a response. In the end, we reluctantly took the plea agreement offered to us, as we were out of money for our defense, and wanted to put this ordeal behind us.

I feel the Steamboat Pilot & Today has unfairly portrayed Mark. He is not the criminal the paper has made him out to be. You are innocent until proven guilty; it is NOT until proven guilty by a newspaper publication. It seems the editor does not understand this and does not encourage his reporters to research the entire story before publication.

Mark has always had the support of the Steamboat Springs Police Department, he was not fired as the paper stated on Wednesday's headline, he resigned. More people have offered their support than anyone could have ever imagined and for that, thank you.

Mark is a courageous person and has handled this entire ordeal with dignity. He has been the support pole in our family, and has held us together. Without Mark in our lives, any other family would have given up. And for Mark to persevere and strive to continue his career as a peace officer proves just how much he loves his job.

Mark's lifelong desire is to serve the public as a peace officer; and to have this ripped away in such an unfair manner was devastating. Additionally, having the paper drudge up rumor and innuendos as facts caused us to relive an incident we had long put behind us.

Sherriff Wall has given Mark a well-deserved second chance, and I think it is time for Routt County, the newspaper and everyone else involved to do the same.

Michelle Madderom Mackey

Steamboat Springs

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