© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Settlement Brings Klamath County Deputies Back To Work

<p>Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah</p>

Samantha Tipler

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah

Klamath County sheriff's deputies who have been on leave from the department will return to their duties immediately, following a settlement between the Klamath County Board of Commissioners and the Klamath County Peace Officers Association.

The settlement was approved in an emergency meeting by the commissioners Friday.

The deputies had been on voluntary administrative leave after they complained that county Sheriff Frank Skrah retaliated against them for their participation in a state Department of Justice investigation into the sheriff.

The terms of the settlement stipulate that the seven deputies on leave will return to work as soon as possible, and report to Chief Deputy Martin Rowley for 45 days while the county looks into the retaliation claims. It also states that Skrah cannot retaliate against the deputies, and any harassment should be reported to the county for immediate investigation.

The DOJ has declined to provide details about the investigation into Skrah.

Skrah issued a statement shortly after the settlement, saying he was "elated" to have the deputies returning to work.

"I have always treated my deputies with respect and will continue to do so," Skrah said. "I will continue to ask for the best possible performance from my deputies, which is what the public deserves."

Earlier this week, Skrah had filed a motion with the Klamath County Circuit Court, claiming that county commissioners usurped his authority as an elected official when they let the deputies take leave, and that putting the deputies on leave was a burden to his department — which has a 16-person patrol unit.

“I think this is a very good effort to get those officers back on the streets, right where they want to be, and to resolve some of these issues,” Klamath County Board Chair Tom Mallams told the Herald and News after Friday's settlement was reached.

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Ryan Haas has been with Oregon Public Broadcasting since 2013. His work has won numerous awards, including two National Magazine Award nominations for the podcast "Bundyville." Prior to working at OPB, Haas worked at newspapers in Illinois, Florida, Oregon and the Caribbean.